When I reported on the duck and my attempt to make homemade hot cocoa, I mentioned that our lovely friend R had gotten us chocolate for Christmas that we were excited to try. We finally did. And we liked it so much that we decided to write about it.
Let’s start by saying that this is by far the fanciest chocolate that the duck and I have tasted. The Taza Chocolate Chocolate Mexicano Sampler comes with eight different varieties ranging from chili over salted almond to vanilla. Looking at the box, we knew that we would like this chocolate because the ‘basic’ variety is called ‘Cacao Puro’ and comes with a beautiful 70% of cocoa which, based on our very specific chocolate bias, is a perfect place to start! On top of that, the chocolate is organic, not as heavily processed as most other chocolate, and promises to be ethically sourced. I don’t think the duck and I have tried stone-ground chocolate before. When we read on the box that this apparently means a bolder flavor and an unusual texture we were curious. As soon as we found out that you could transform these chocolate discs into cups of hot chocolate, we were sold. Now the only thing that was left for us to do was to try it:
The duck and I love how versatile this chocolate is! To get an idea of what it’s all about, we decided to try a chunk of the ‘Cacao Puro’ variety first. The flavor is a bit more intense than we would expect from 70% chocolate. While sugar is the second ingredient listed on the beautifully short ingredient list on the box (in between organic cacao beans and the specific spices/nuts/beans used for some of the flavored discs), we did not think that the ‘Cacao Puro’ variety tasted overwhelmingly sweet which made us happy (it’s the little things, right?). Of course, the duck and I were most curious about the texture. At first, we hardly noticed it, but then, as we let the little piece of chocolate each of us had broken off melt in our mouths, we did detect a pleasant graininess. We both love texture and a deep and not too sweet chocolate taste, so naturally, it was love at first bite! We can definitely see ourselves eating this as a fulfilling afternoon snack. Maybe it’s time we become rich so that we can casually munch on this every day… in our little American mansion by the sea (in the tea room next to our giant library).
The duck and I were super excited to convert this into a pretty cup of hot chocolate next. Sure, it’s nice to finally have found a decent recipe for a cup of homemade cocoa – it might have even been worth the broken penguin cup. But nothing beats a deliciously rich cup of hot chocolate that you can prepare in a few minutes with minimal ingredients. The box comes with a simple recipe that has you chop up a chocolate disc and dissolve it in warm milk with a pinch of salt. The more you whisk, the frothier the result. Even after my hand had slipped when I was sprinkling in the salt, the hot chocolate turned out pretty delicious. We thought it tasted sweeter than the pure chocolate disc, but this might have been because we used a particularly sweet oat milk variety. This was by far the creamiest hot chocolate the duck and I have had – you would never guess that it’s vegan (if you haven’t found the sweet side of vegan treats yet)! Since you don’t use a whole lot of milk for the recipe, the original taste of the chocolate stays pretty much intact (especially, if you use milk that has a neutral taste to you and if you really only use a pinch of salt) – even some of the texture still remains. This definitely lives up to the name ‘hot chocolate’ and because it’s so rich, it’s super filling (we might even make only half a recipe next time with an added bonus of double the opportunities to enjoy this chocolate). It’s been a long while since the duck and I had Mexican hot chocolate, and tasting this certainly made us wonder why!
Eight flavors of stone-ground chocolate, at least two ways to devour it, one overall rating for this beautiful experience: 5/5 ducks!
Obviously, we’re impressed. So, we turned this into a rare sweet treat (to make it last longer), which is why we haven’t tried all the flavors yet. But so far, we loved every single one.
The duck and my snack reviews tend to be specific to the country we are living in. In this case, however, it seems like you can’t actually get this wonderful treat in Germany which makes moving back to the States crucial for our dream of beautiful chocolate every day to become a reality. Here’s another reason for hoping that the pandemic will be more under control in 2021. To the chocoholics out there – let’s all hope (and do our part) together!