If I lived in Atlanta (where the airport code is “ATL”) and wanted a clever company name for my small-batch chocolates, I probably would have chosen the Aztec Nahuatl word for chocolate too: Xocolatl 🙂
Xocolatl was started in 2013 by husband-and-wife team Matt Weyandt and Elaine Read after living in the Costa Rican jungle for about a year where they learned the bean-to-bar process and then wanted to bring that talent back to their hometown.
Little did I realize when I ordered the 60% Dark Chocolate “Kissed Mermaids” bar through Honeycreeper that my choice would be a nod to another play on words: a kiss is generally expressed as an “X,” while a hug is denoted as an “O” and, as you’ll soon see, these symbols are featured on both the outer packaging as well as the mold design.
In addition to playful illustrations of city life, the thick blue textured outer paper has subtle silver foil stamping and embossing on both the front and back that you might miss unless you view the packaging from an angle.
Upon opening both the outer packaging and the wax lined inner foil wrapper, you’ll notice that the “top” (non-inclusion) side is facing you.
The mold is a series of decorative symmetrical squares at each corner, flanked by a pair of unadorned rectangles, which then draw your eye to the center of the bar. Here again is the prominent “XO” within a circle lined with small pennants, just like the logo on the front of the packaging.
The generous sprinkling of inclusions remains well adhered to the bar while turning it over. It wasn’t until after I took several photos that I noticed the vanilla-infused sea salt sparkling from the gaps between the clusters of cacao nibs.
There is a semi-soft snap to the thick bar and the smooth, creamy chocolate is punctuated by the nutty crunch of the nibs.
While there was a strong coconut-forward aroma upon opening the packaging, either melted or chomped, the coconut flavor is muted and complemented by the sea salt. I’m curious about the origin of the cacao since it doesn’t say on the packaging (perhaps because it varies depending on availability?) However, their website does say “Our small batch chocolate is made from cacao that is sustainably and ethically grown, harvested, fermented and sun-dried on small farms throughout the Americas and East Africa.”
Next time, I hope to try bars with humorous names like “Oh Nuts,” “Soul Rebel” or “Wide Eyed.” Additionally, I’m intrigued by the “Americana” bar since I’ve never thought to combine chocolate with apple pie flavors!
To discover Xocolatl for yourself, check out: http://www.xocolatlchocolate.com/
Remember to follow the Time to Eat Chocolate blog to hear about the next stop in the “50 States” project!
Other chocolate makers in Georgia:
NOTE: If you know of any other bean-to-bar makers in Georgia that aren’t mentioned above, please leave a comment or send an email so that we can keep this list as up-to-date as possible!