Friday, January 11, 2008

Mango Masala

New Year's Resolution #3:
Perfect old formulas and blog on my original product line.

I never really thought I'd become a blogger, but I must admit, I've have a lot of fun writing in the past six months. I should have started a blog ages ago! As it happened, I started it mostly to rouse interest in the cafe launch. And look at me now, three posts a week, without fault.

Continuing my resolutions, it's about time I start talking about the chocolate that brought me here in the first place. I launched Eclipse back in the beginning of 2004, and it was really the Exotic Artisan Truffles and Solid Chocolate Blends that gained enough popularity for me to continue the slippery path of becoming an exotic chocolatier. In fact, it took me over a year before I even considered strengthening my product line. By the end of 2004, I had over two dozen truffles (some seasonal), and shortly after I added the Exotic Salted Caramels and Snapping Turtles. Finally, about a year ago, I increased my chocolate bar line from six blends to a even dozen. And now that I have a storefront? Well, I can't seem to stop trying out new ideas.

But for the moment, we're spending our time around here with a trip down memory lane. One of my first blends, Mango Masala, definitely made a splash in the local foodie community when it was introduced. With its 38% cacao milk chocolate couveture (chocolatey nomenclature meaning that its super high in cocoa butter and therefore very creamy in texture), candied mango, and exotic blends of curry spices, this Indian-influenced bar was turning heads, for better of worse. Funny thing about being an exotic chocolatier: you can please everyone all of the time! True about most things in life, no? Well, if we're talking about my Sea-salt Nib bar, then yes, we can, quite possibly, please everyone all the time. But of all flavors that I make, this one is definitely the most polar. It seems that for every person that tries this tricky concoction, I hear an equal amount of "that's amazing!" as I do "hm, not for me". Well to simplify the issue, if you enjoy curry and Indian food, then this bar is for you! Otherwise? Well, I have eleven other flavors, folks.

Seems odd to say that after 4 years of making something professionally I've finally decided upon the definitive formula, but in this case it's true. I recently made a pledge to go organic, so I'm now sourcing all my spices certifiably so, and that has proved tricky for the curry powder market. As I am sure most of you know, there is no curry tree yielding curry seeds in the far East. Curry powder, like Moroccan harissa and Mexican mole, is code-word for a blend of spices that can vary greatly from region to region. And while I was elated to find an organic curry blend, I quickly found that it just didn't add up to the same flavor profile that my previous one had. My solution was to start making my own blend from my own selection of organic spices. The combo I settled upon has notes of Vietnamese cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, ginger, and cumin among various others. Beyond that, I have found that most people (sorry, die-hard curry fans) are more interested in a subtler spice flavor and more sweet mango.

So in short: Mango Masala, now with organic spices. Less curry, more mango!

Stop in an enjoy a sample.

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