Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poco Dolce

Poco Dolce! I first tasted Poco Dolce chocolate at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon. I may have tasted their chocolates before, but the fact that I didn't remember leads me to believe I hadn't. The taste is so unmistakable, especially their 2 inch bittersweet squares with grey sea salt that brings out the flavor. I know I had their toffee mini-squares at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon, and since I was there early in the day, some other chocolates.

Kelli Stanley, mystery writer extraordinaire and chocolate expert, and I have been exchanging notes about chocolate for the past few months. Kelli was a guest author at our Berkeley Mystery Literary salon last week, and she brought two boxes of Poco Dolce 2 inch Bittersweet Tiles. Did I say, two? Well, I put the first box out for the other guests, but I secreted away the second box--clearly a hostess gift--and I'm not sorry. The assortment box of Chocolate Tiles topped with Grey Sea Salt from Brittany contained Double Roasted Almond, Crystallized Ginger, Burnt Caramel Toffee and Aztec Chile. The Aztec Chile was my favorite. Wish I had included it in my 3 day Cinco de Mayo Chocolate litany. Next year. Poco Dolce's Aztec Chile is made with cinnamon, chile and toasted pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin seeds really make it unique. All Poco Dolce chocolate tiles are made by hand and packed in their signature blue box. Other tiles available at different times include Sesame Toffee, Mint Toffee, Ginger, Hazelnut and Almond Coconut.

The Toffee Squares are smaller and hand cut into one inch squares and then covered in bittersweet chocolate. The sampler comes with Sea Salt Toffee, Single Shot Espresso Toffee, Double Shot Toffee and Burnt Caramel Toffee. You can't go wrong with Poco Dolce toffees. Terrific.

I still haven't tried the Bon Bons, but the website says that The Cortina Collection (inspired by the city of Cortina in Northern Italy) has a selection of chocolates featuring bittersweet nut ganaches and exotic spices. The Paradiso Collection takes their favorite latin flavors and tucks them inside a shell of bittersweet chocolate. Mango Chile, Dulce de Leche and Mayan Chile. I need to sample these, and I see a quick trip to Poco Dolce in the near future.There are other bon bon flavors, and I'll just have to try them and report back.

It may sound easy and simple, but the 2 inch squares are absolutely fabulous--complex and basic at the same time. How is this possible? The grey sea salt on the outside gives you that bit of salt with your sweet chocolate-.. and then the inner part.. well, it's all taste perfect-- and crispy!

Poco Dolce means a little sweet, and it's the salt that balances the bittersweet chocolate which is from Guittard. The flat tiles are perfectly balanced for me.

I'm usually a purist. I like my chocolate unadulterated, but Poco Dolce has won me over. I'll be adding Poco Dolce to my daily dose of afternoon chocolate--chocolate is good for you, after all.

You can purchase Poco Dolce online or at local stores.

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