When we announce that we’ve “Gone American” it often evokes a double take. People say, “Haven’t you always been?” Well, yes. Sort of.
The Secret Chocolatier is an American company, hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina where our family does all the work. But we haven’t always been able to source our chocolate from American sources. Until now, that is.
Caveat: Cocoa is grown in the equatorial belt like coffee. The only American state that can grow cocoa is Hawaii but it’s not large enough for large sourcing. What we’re talking about here is American companies that turn cocoa into chocolate.
Our American Chocolate love affair
First, we had a fling with Dutch chocolates then started going steady with German sources, but over the last few months, as our German supplier was backlogged and we were about to have a chocolate crisis, we pulled out our little black books and began stepping out with test batches of new ganaches. The feedback we got from fans was essential. (It pays to drop by the shop once in a while–you never know when we’ll draft you as a taste tester!)
Breaking up with the Germans was more difficult than we anticipated. A large percentage of our chocolate truffles have naturally infused flavors. These flavors are at times very delicate and if you have a very powerful chocolate that leans to a bright acidity or a very broad body it can interrupt, if not convolute, the experience. We wanted to find something that was pure and clean chocolate, not something that would bully the infusions. You could say we were looking for a chocolate plate to serve our infusions atop.
When the Americans paraded their wares on stage our hearts skipped a collective beat. Could they compete with those Old World beauties? We put them through their paces, slept on it, then headed straight for the altar and made a lifelong commitment. We’re an American Chocolate Shop.
We invite you to the wedding reception. Stop in and see our growing selection of stateside chocolate artisans and the analyses we’ve done on each company’s processes, taste, quality and cost.
Our American family of chocolates
We were already very familiar with, TCHO, after using their 68% dark chocolate as our highest percentage truffle for a few years. People loved it. We went down to their 60% and trial after trial it gave us what we were looking for. Well balanced, a rich chocolate flavor, smooth texture and clean finish. It takes any of the creams we infuse and relays it well to the palate.
We will also plan on using other craft chocolate makers when they fit. For example our new Tres Incendios is made from Taza’s guajillo chili chocolate, As Hot As Possible’s anchos, and straight-from-the-Ciordia-garden Serrano peppers
The most important consideration for our company has been your taste buds. Sure, we could have kept sourcing our main chocolate from the Europeans, but when we can source equally or more delightful varieties from Americans, it feels like the right thing to do. Come in and taste for yourself. There’s chocolate, and then there’s The Secret Chocolatier’s chocolate–your taste buds know the difference.