(Photo of Frank Price, VP TeamBuilding Unlimited, and Chef Michael Antonorsi)
I'm not surprised I liked it so much, because I really enjoy Chuao Chocolate. We use the Spicy Maya Bar (pasilla chile and cayenne pepper) in our Chocolate Tastings as an example of the original Mayan chocolate beverage. Of course, the Chuao has sugar in it--much more palatable to our 21st century taste.
Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) is the first Venezuelan Chocolatier based in the United States (headquartered in San Diego). Chuao was founded in 2002 by master chef Michael Antonorsi and his brother Richard Antonorsi, the company's CEO. Chuao Chocolatier is pioneering “fusion chocolate” by creating unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors using their secret blend of premium chocolate and fresh natural ingredients.
The Venezuelan born brothers, now San Diego residents, named the company Chuao Chocolatier after the legendary cacao-producing region of Chuao located in central Venezuela. Chuao does not boast of single-plantation beans or specific vintages, but they rely on Venzuelan Criollo beans. Chocolate is part of their roots, as their ancestors once ran a small family farm that was an important part of the criollo cacao plantation industry.
If you're not a purist, Chuao makes lots of different types of chocolates including truffles with unusual ganaches such as Zen with Green tea-infused ginger ganache (Talk about healthy!) and Muslu centred around cinnnamon and Grand Marnier (not quite as healthy but delicious). Unusual flavor combinations are at the heart of Chuao Chocolatier’s unique experience including: Firecracker, a chipotle caramel fudge truffle with popping candy, a hint of salt, and dark chocolate and Pan Con Chocolate, a dark chocolate bonbon filled with roasted Panko bread crumbs and olive oil ganache with a touch of sea salt.
But back to hot chocolate. Chuao offers three different types: Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate (pasilla chiles, cayenne pepers and cinnamon with their premium blend of dark chocolate), the Abuela Hot Chocolate (a family tradition made from Grandma's strict recipe blending the rich and deep flavors of Venezuelan bittersweet chocolates) and Winter Hot Chocolate (Venezuelan bittersweet chocolate with ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and pepper). As I said, my favorite is the Abuela Hot chocolate. If you're a hot chocolate drinker, you must try this. A Real Wow From Chuao!
Grand Marnier and chocolate, my idea of perfection.
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