I first encountered Amano Artisan Chocolate at The Chocolate Show back in 2007. At the time, they only produced two bars, a single origin dark from Ocumare and another from Madagascar. These two bars were one of my first real tastes of single origin chocolate, and I have been hooked ever since. I visited with Amano at the Fancy Food Show this year and was excited to find that they have not only produced many more dark chocolate bars, but not they’ve ventured into the milk chocolate world as well. I’m one excited candy blogger.
Amano is is special chocolate company since it is dedicated to small batch single origin (which means that the chocolate is produced in small quantities sources from one specific area) chocolate bars with strict attention to flavor and quality. When they started producing chocolate a few years ago, no one was really doing this sort of thing and it was a very bold and revolutionary way to create chocolate. Now, it’s become more accepted and mainstream, and Amano is still at the forefront of producing great chocolate bars.
Before I go into the flavors associated with these new bars, I want to mention that I love the format of them. Firstly, the packaging design is simply gorgeous. It is so simple, so sleek, and so elegant and it’s really eye-catching. I just love the red of the Ocumare bar and it makes the design nerd in my just swoon over it. Secondly, the chocolate bar itself is the ideal size and shape for me. Each bar is 2oz and comes sectioned off into fifteen easily broken-off squares. The chocolate is thick, around 1/3 of an inch or so (I don’t have a ruler on me, sadly) and this allows for a wonderful melting in the mouth. It lasts a long time and is extremely satisfying.
Montanya (limited edition): 70% Venezuelan Dark Chocolate: It has a crisp snap and gorgeous deep brown color. The chocolate smells extremely fruity with notes of cherries and raspberries ad coffee. I love the texture, as it’s beautifully thick and buttery on the tongue. The flavor is more delicate as it starts of gently with notes of cream and berries, then it gradually blooms into a full flavor of red berries, and green coffee with bright notes of grapefruit and lemon. It has a wonderfully fruity tartness and it leaves a light finish of cherries and citrus. Simply gorgeous.
Jembrana Milk Chocolate: 30% Southwestern Coast of Bali : The chocolate is very dark in color for a milk bar. It’s a nice medium brown with reddish tones. Oh goodness, the flavor is awesome! It’s very mild, mysterious, dark and quiet. The chocolate has notes of wine, raisins and currants with a splash of cream, strawberries and vanilla. There’s a small crescendo of caramel towards the finish. Wow, this is a stellar bar.
Ocumare Milk Chocolate: 30% Ocumare Venezuela: Also darker in color for a milk bar with a nice gloss, and it has a nice snap to it too. The chocolate smells deep and rich of cocoa and cream. The flavor is so creamy, it’s full of intense flavors of vanilla, cream, caramel and raisins. It’s very mellow and the creaminess reminds me of ice cream. There’s a light finish kissed with berries, but cream and vanilla really pull through in the delicate flavors in the chocolate. It’s hard to choose, but I enjoyed this one more than the Jembrana as the flavor profile is more fitting to my personal tastes.
All I can say is I love, love, LOVE what Amano is doing with their chocolate and having tried these bars has only further increased my love and appreciation for them. It’s the kind of quality that makes your eyes roll back into your head since it’s so good and lovely to savor, and it only leaves your taste buds needing more.
Links Amano Website