About a year ago, Paul and I went to an art auction that Jake's company, Sparkling Fresh Artists & Auctions, was putting on in Soho. It was a lovely evening. The art was inspired and Paul and I both were happy to unexpectedly run into some friends we hadn't seen in a while. And on top of all of that, a small-scale chocolate producer was offering samples of some of the most wonderful, unique tasting chocolate I'd had in quite some time. Possibly ever.
Upon tasting it, I understood for the first time why people go on about how well red wine and chocolate go together. This chocolate actually had layers of flavor that revealed themselves as it melted in my mouth, much like good wine does. And it wasn't particularly sweet. Rather, it was very well balanced with salt, which I absolutely loved.
Paul was so taken with it that he bought three boxes of two truffles, at a total cost of $21. I was totally stunned at the price, but honestly it was such a wonderful product I didn't really mind. So we savored them at home for a few days, but never saw them for sale anywhere again. Sort of like meeting someone you feel you are destined to spend your whole life with on a midnight train to Vienna, and then getting off the next morning never to see them again.
But this week I was leafing through Time Out and saw this logo in their holiday gift guide:
I remembered it from these boxes that we had brought home the night of the art auction:
Hello my love! So happy to see you again! Turns out the company, called Fine & Raw Chocolate, is a tiny operation out of Brooklyn. The reason the chocolate tastes so different than anything else out there is that, aside from using high quality ingredients, they use very low heat to process the chocolate (so low in fact, that the chocolate is actually considered a raw food) and rather than sugar they use blue agave syrup. Also, the fat used is actually coconut oil rather than a milk-derived fat, so I suppose the chocolate would be considered not only raw but also vegan. And I must say that the truffles are quite unctuous, so the coconut oil was a good choice on Fine & Raw's part. Now I usually don't get too worked up about all of the free trade/raw/vegan stuff, but in this case the product really is superior so I'm in complete support of whatever environmentally conscientious efforts the company is making.
Together again. It feels so good to be reunited.
Fine & Raw products can be found at a variety of health food shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, or they can be purchased online.