Alan “Patric” McClure started his bean-to-bar chocolate company just a decade ago after spending a year in France. Since 2011, his chocolates have annually garnered prestigious Good Food Awards; and since 2013, he has received three or more Awards each year! With 15 Good Food Awards in total, sources say that “this makes Patric Chocolate the all-time winner of more Good Food Awards than any other company nationwide, in any category.”
With a pedigree like that, it’s no wonder that his chocolates are elusive! When you finally find one at a local store, there is no question about whether or not to purchase it, you just do. Then you notice that the label says “Limited Edition” – well, now you feel that you should go out & buy lottery tickets…there’s no stopping your winning streak! 🙂
If you’ll allow me the “artistic license” of re-ordering the words slightly, this bar’s name becomes a bit of an alliterative tongue twister: Patric Peru Piura (I wish I could figure out a few more appropriate words to add so that we can complete the Pa, Pe, Pi syllabic series!) But I digress…
The easy-to-open cream colored packaging made from 30% recycled post-consumer fiber & printed with soy ink sports a large eye-catching fleur de lis on the front.
Ingeniously, this packaging can be used for multiple bars since the specific bar’s information is simply added with a clear sticker in the appropriate spot on the front.
Before getting to the bar itself, you can read some history about the company, as well as the 10 steps that were taken to produce each bar.
The first thing you see when opening the outer packaging, is a pristine matte rectangle wrapped in plastic, with a stylized embossed “signature” facing you. For a 67% bar, the color is a deep, rich brown.
Maybe it’s me, but the “P” almost looks like a ballet dancer or an ice skater in an arabesque position.
Unwrapping the bar, there was no mistaking that the carefully selected, rare Criollo beans from the high-altitude Piura region of Peru had been roasted. After precise roasting at a low temperature to bring out the fruity notes, the ground nibs underwent a long conching (refining) time to ensure a smooth mouth feel. Instead of breaking a bar apart with my fingers (since fingerprints tend to make the bar less photogenic), I generally use a knife. I was surprised that slicing through the bar proved to be a bit difficult since it was denser than I expected.
Despite this, there was a satisfying sharp snap when creating bite sized tasting morsels. The slow melting, not-too-sweet chocolate started out with bright fruit notes that made me think of both citrus and berries. During the melt, it was as if there were little effervescent bursts of flavor and it finished like a warming port or dessert wine for me.
You can be sure that the next time I find Patric Chocolates in a local store, I’ll be stocking up on more flavors…especially the Triple-Ginger and Red Coconut Curry which won awards in 2016!
Even though the online store is closed until the next chocolate bar release, check out http://patric-chocolate.com/ for more information about the 10 year history of the company + their philosophy on sustainability practices. As a respected leader in the burgeoning craft chocolate movement, Alan also provides chocolate consultation services!