W is for Willie’s Cacao

Happy Halloween! Hope your day was filled with (chocolate) treats 🙂 Honestly, I’m not sure why October 28th is considered “National Chocolate Day” instead of October 31st given that most trick or treaters prefer chocolate over other types of goodies. As you might imagine, my taste gravitates toward craft chocolates over mass-produced sweets.

Just when it seemed like my dream “W” bar was out of reach, Pashmina and Chris from Choco Rush came to my rescue! The timing of my inquiry was just right since they were shortly scheduled to receive a shipment of Willie’s Cacao straight from the factory in the UK! I don’t know about you, but I get excited every time chocolate is scheduled to be delivered to me by mail. Upon receiving the USPS tracking number, I set up text message alerts so that I could stay informed about the exact whereabouts of my precious cargo 😉 Rushing out the door once I received notification that the package was “left in the mailbox at its destination,” I was eager to see Choco Rush’s distinctive logo on the sealed cardboard rectangular box.

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The bar was expertly packed with two mini sheets of re-usable cooling “ice cubes” to ensure that it would arrive in pristine condition despite the warmer weather that is still lingering here in SoCal despite it being Fall.

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Recently I discovered “Willie’s Chocolate Revolution: Raising the Bar,” a documentary that chronicles the various ups and downs that Willie Harcourt-Cooze experienced while setting up his production of bean-to-bar dark chocolate bars as well as his attempts to “re-educate” British palates that were raised on Cadbury’s milk chocolate confections. The three episodes (each split into 4 mini episodes on YouTube) first aired in the UK in 2009 as a follow-up to the “Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory” series. One of the bars that was featured heavily on “Raising the Bar” is this 72% Rio Caribe Gold made with Trinitario beans from Venezuela!

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There is an elegant simplicity to the black square box emblazoned with gold and white foil stamped and embossed lettering. The blue font draws your attention to the country of origin of the beans and the tasting notes. Inside the box, the bar is wrapped in an easily opened, crimped shiny gold foil wrapper that has many stylized capital “double u” letters imprinted with a contrasting opaque gold so that they will stand out.

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Seems that the “W” from the outer packaging matches the company logo that appears on the chocolate bar itself (inside an indented cacao pod).

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Despite the chocolate “dust” marring the surface of this bar, there is an overall matte finish on both the front and back of this deep dark brown square. With a little effort, the sturdy bar breaks apart with a sharp snap and releases a roasted/smoky aroma. I was surprised that the edge of the piece looked like mini jagged stalactites and that the color was almost like a reddish mahogany.

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The flavor was a bit bitter and coffee-like to me on the first few bites; but upon allowing the morsel to melt easily on my tongue, it seemed to mellow out and become more of an earthy tang. The taste grew on me in a pleasant way. Hopefully when I visit San Francisco later in the year, I’ll be able to locate more of Willie’s bars since I’m especially interested in tasting his flavored bars (like Hazelnut Raisin or Ginger Lime)!

To learn more about Willie’s Cacao, please check out: http://www.williescacao.com/

If receiving a curated collection of craft dark chocolate bars on a monthly basis sounds good to you, check out https://chocorush.co/ to subscribe!