Taste of Terroir – Cacao
What is “Terroir”?: (from terre, “land”) it is the set of special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with plant genetics, express in agricultural products such as wine, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, heritage wheat, cannabis, and tea.
I had not realized how analogous to wine making chocolate would be, but my tastebuds were pleasantly surprised to learn they are quite aligned. Today’s first was a tour at TCHO’s (New American Chocolate) factory with crazy cool and unique friend Haley (side note Haley is about to launch her own sleepwear line, stay tuned – I’ve seen the product apparel sample and you are going to want this item!).
Haley and I with Meb, tour leader..
The tour starts off with a brief powerpoint on the company – TCHO. It was co-founded in December 2005 by Timothy Childs, a technology and chocolate entrepreneur who once developed vision systems for NASA’s Space Shuttle program, and Karl Bittong, a 40-plus year veteran of the chocolate industry. One of the only two bean-bar chocolate manufactuers (Dandelion is the other) in San Francisco, TCHO A new way to think about chocolate, based on the pure flavors of cacao. They are dedicated to partnering directly with their growers.
(behind the scenes, no cameras or cell phones allowed, shhh! ;)) :
After the tour of the factory, Meb took us through a chocolate tasting. TCHO is clearly flavor driven. As for how to ‘taste’. First, close your eyes and smell. Second, take the piece of chocolate close to your ear and snap it in half, you want to hear a crisp break. Lastly, set it in your mouth and savor as it melts.. (H and I both admitted we are impatient and tend to chew chocolate, but this tasting may have changed our ways…)
Beautiful Haley post tour and tasting..