Thanks to Sophia from Projet Chocolat (http://projetchocolat.com/) for introducing me to this unique confection since there are so few places where this is available on the West Coast! I was immediately impressed with the gold foil stamped & embossed outer wrapper and the vintage Victorian era looking font that was used. My only disappointment was that the gold inner foil wrapper was taped to the inside of the outer paper label, making it impossible to slide the bar out. 🙁
What makes this company unique is that they use no refined sugars, sweetening their chocolate only with organic wildflower honey (I was pleased that the wildflower flavor was not as overwhelming as I have experienced with other bars). This Classic Dark 76% Dominican bar is thin, easily bent, has a dull snap and melts quickly when touched. I love that the mold they use has a honeycomb pattern to it, echoing and honoring the bees that helped produce the sweetener.
There is a slightly thick, but pleasant, mouthfeel that reminds me of gritty stone-ground cacao, though I think this comes from the honey crystals rather than the chocolate itself. I’m a “chomper” when it comes to eating chocolate (rather than letting it melt on my tongue), so eating this chocolate was almost a juicy experience (not something I’ve ever experienced before!) I wonder if it has to do with the sunflower lecithin that was used?!
Here is a cross-section of a square showing the honey crystals shining almost like mica.
Aside from the chocolate itself, I always enjoy knowing about the “back story” of the chocolatiers. Apotheker’s has a fascinating story… Russ and Shari Apotheker are an artistic husband and wife team that started the company in 2013 to share their passion for simple, healthy living with small-batch, handcrafted goods made from all-natural ingredients. Russ comes from a long line of herbalists and pharmacists dating back to ancient Jerusalem. In fact, after the family immigrated to Austria and Poland in the 17th Century, they changed their name to Apotheker, which means “pharmacist.”
Check out http://apothekerskitchen.com/ for more information + their other products (chocolate topped marshmallows & hot cocoa).
I’m personally looking forward to finding more of their offerings, especially the Cashew and Red Sea Salt bar!