Aid for Turkey

gaziantep, turkey

The earthquake in Turkey has caused massive devastation and suffering, and created a humanitarian crisis.  Two of the hardest hit cities are Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa, which is where the mint for our Peppermint bar and the Urfa Chili for our Black Urfa Chili bar are from.  We source both from Burlap and Barrel, and they source directly from the farmers in those regions. As soon as we heard news of the quake we checked with the owners of Burlap and Barrel, Ethan Frisch and Ari Zohar, but they have yet to hear from either of their farmers. The crisis is…

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Trust the Science

popular science logo

Popular Science included our Complete Collection in their top twelve list of the best food gifts to give this holiday season!  If you think chocolate has nothing to do with science think again – from the aerobic and anaerobic reactions in the bean fermentation process, to the Maillard reaction in roasting, to the polymorphous crystals present in the cocoa butter and also the hundreds of flavor precursors in cacao that react in different ways during the coaching process, chocolate is a master class in food science! To learn more we highly recommend checking out Stephen T. Beckett’s highly regarded (and…

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Our new holiday bar is in the grinder

goodnow farms chocolate grinding

We love discovering new flavors, and trying different flavor combinations in our bars. The holidays give us a good excuse to let our creativity run free, and this season we’re very excited about our upcoming “Winter Maple with Spiced Brown Butter” bar. This one has a little bit of everything: butter from High Lawn Farm in Lee, MA, which we brown to toasty perfection, maple sugar from Severance Maple in Northfield, MA, and cardamom from the single origin spice masters at Burlap & Barrel. As always we did many, many test grinds and we’ve hit on a flavor combination we…

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Double Chocolate Mint Brownie Bites!

Happy Spring! We are outside prepping the gardens for our Spring plantings, and it feels so good to dig in the dirt and imagine all of the vegetables and herbs we’ll have soon have.  A family favorite to grow is fresh mint- luckily for us it is such a hearty plant we are never in short supply for our teas, salads and treats! This inspired us for this week’s chocolate baking experiment, and the resulting double chocolate mint brownies were rich, refreshing and a hit with the whole family!  Please see the recipe below if you’d like to give it…

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It’s a Busy Fall on the Farm

it's a busy fall on the farm

Fall is finally here, and apples and pumpkins are everywhere!   We’re happy to report that our pumpkin patch is a tremendous success.  This is the first year we grew pumpkins, and we ended up with dozens of large, healthy ones.  You’ll notice that some of the pumpkins are slightly different colors, and that’s because we planted several  varieties, including Jack Be Littles, Big Maxes, Owl’s Eyes, Red Warty Things and Spartans.  Who knew there were so many different types of pumpkins?  For a (more or less) complete list check out Pumpkin Patches and More.          …

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Donations needed for Ecuador COVID Relief

One of our favorite bean origins is Costa Esmeraldas, in Ecuador.  Freddy Salazar and his family have a beautiful farm and fermentation facility in Same, where they provide stable employment and economic benefits for the town. But, Ecuador has been extremely hard hit by COVID-19 so Freddy and his family have set up a foundation to raise money for medical supplies needed to help fight the virus.  We know there are many needs out there right now, but if you’re able to donate to help their cause it would certainly be appreciated. For more information or to donate visit their…

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A Note on Difficult Times

The current pandemic is hitting everyone hard.  Especially hard hit are many small businesses, who rely on a steady stream of customers to keep the doors open.  We urge you to support your local small businesses in any way you safely can. Although we’ve closed our Boston Public Market shop we’re still making chocolate in our factory.  As a licensed wholesale kitchen, inspected by the FDA, we’ve always had strict sanitation procedures in place but we’ve added new enhanced procedures as well.  Food safety is always our top priority. Thanks very much for your support during this difficult time, and…

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We’re a Finalist for the 2019 ICA World Finals!

We’re very proud and excited to announce we’re a Finalist in the International Chocolate Awards World Finals Competition.  Each year the International Chocolate Awards holds regional competitions, and we were honored with several awards in the Americas region.  Regional winners are eligible for the World Finals, in which the best bars from around the world compete for top honors.  This year the tasting was held in Florence Italy, and the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the historic city of Antigua, Guatemala on November 18th.  Stay tuned for news!

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Back from Ecuador & Peru!

We just returned from a very successful (and warm!) sourcing trip to Ecuador and Peru, where we visited two amazing producers: Costa Esmeraldas Cacao in Ecuador and Ucayali River Cacao in Peru. Our first stop was Costa Esmeraldas. Freddy Salazar and his family have more than two hundred acres of cacao trees on their farm south of town, where they’ve recently begun planting and propagating hybrid Nacional trees. Freddy took the time to show us around not only the farm, but also the brand new post-harvest processing facility where the beans are fermented, dried and packed for shipping. Being on…

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Our Black Bottom Cupcakes!

black bottom cupcake recipe

We love baking at our house, and it is awesome exploring all of the different, chocolate-based recipes with our single origin chocolates!  What’s better than some yummy, Black Bottom love?  We made these delicious cupcakes over the weekend using our El Carmen dark chocolate and freshly ground cocoa powder.  Our son helped by unwrapping our chocolate bars and then oversaw mom chop them into little, bitty bite-sized bits.  After we mixed the batter and put the cupcakes in the oven to bake, our daughter waited for the timer to go off and was the first taste tester! See the recipe below, and…

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Fun with inclusions

chocolate bar inclusions

What, exactly, is an “inclusion?” The term “inclusion” is one we hadn’t heard until we started making chocolate.  The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines inclusion as “a relation between two classes that exists when all members of the first are also members of the second.” Hmm.  That one doesn’t quite work, so we’ll go with the OTHER M.W. definition, “something that is included.” In the case of chocolate that means something added to the bar to give it a different flavor, such as nuts, sea salt, ginger and the ever-popular (though somewhat counterintuitive) bacon. We’ve spent a lot of time testing out…

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