A passage (of chocolate) to India
Gourmet chocolatiers are increasingly blending cocoa and spices. Join us in an exotic travel around exquisite brands and products.
Connection between chocolate and spices is as old as chocolate itself. The concept is not new, but the best chocolate brands around the world are increasingly paying interest to this aromatic mix, showing that chocolate is not just a synonym of something sweetish, but of something salty or spicy as well. Spices are able to awake unexpected nuances and emotions in chocolate or, directly, to transform it in something new and surprising.
Join us in a travel to see how prestigious chocolatiers understand this alliance between spices and cocoa through delicious products that will bring you to an exotic world full of aromas.
Zaabär, spices and chocolate were never so close
Zaabär constitutes an evocative world of chocolate and spices, somehow as an oriental spices bazaar (the brand’s name was inspired by the Istanbul legendary markets). This Belgian chocolatier épicier was founded in 2007 and explores the potential of the blend of cocoa beans and spices as any other brand does. Zaabär also uses herbs and flowers picked around the world in its factory-shop in Chausée de Charleroi Street, in Brussels heart.
The metallic envelopes of the tablets resemble those for astronaut food and contain original and surprising combinations that will seduce daring palates, because the presence of spices in this chocolate is very intense, as in the White chocolate with Curry Madras, the Dark Chocolate with Sishuan’s Pepper or the very spicy Milk chocolate with Chilli Pepper from Texas. A lighter, although salty option is the Milk Chocolate with Guerande sea Salt.
The Belgium brand uses many other spices: coriander from Laos, cardamom from Malabar, fennel of Pistoia, ginger from Goa, clove from Zanzíbar, sage from Barberino, thyme from Lavandou… even lavender from Andalusia.
You can buy Zaabär products online (complete catalogue can be found in its e-shop). In Spain now it is possible to find some of the proposals in the Gourmet Clubs of El Corte Inglés. Mono tablets containing 35 gr. cost 2.40 euro and Duo boxes, which contains two tablets, 4.70 euro.
Pierre Marcolini, cocoa jewels avec épices
Pierre Marcolini is the Belgian magician of creativity in the world of cocoa. He is a master as well achieving a spectacular scenario for his shops, which look like a Tiffany & Co. jewelry shop. His very recognizable black boxes were designed by the luxurious leather brand Delvaux, and could very well keep a diamond instead of chocolate. Marcolini uses spices with wisdom in his creations. You should not miss his chocolate Quatre Épices, with soft caramel and a blend of cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger; Poivre Long, that adds Indian Pepper to the power of the bitter ganache; and saffron, an infusion of this flower pistils in a milk ganache made from cocoa beans from the island of Java. In Spain it is only possible to by Marcolini’s products in the brand’s website.
Cacao Sampaka, praline with spices
With the first shop opened in Barcelona 15 years ago, Cacao Sampaka outstands because its quality, creativity and beautiful packaging. Today the brand has shops in countries as Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Japan. It’s box Collection Number 3 Cocoas and spices from the Americas contains 16 creamy truffles and pralines created with Spanish nuts with a touch of spices such as Jamaica pepper, ginger, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and saffron. Its price is 12.90 euro.The brand, which has the factory in Vic (Barcelona), offers also tablets with spices. Very delicate is the Dark Chocolate with Ibiza Sea Salt, with a subtle salty touch that enhances the flavor of cocoa and wood (100 gr. 4.45 euro).
Chocolate Organiko, Fleur de Sel says ‘yes’ to cocoa beans
This Spanish small company is specialized in organic chocolate, made with trinitario cocoa beans from Republica Dominicana. ChocoLate Organiko elaborates also a Dark Chocolate tablet with Sea Salt and Milk Chocolate with Mexican Chilly, vanilla and cinnamon in a factory in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). Tablets of 70 gr. of chocolate cost around 3 euro. 98% of the brand’s production is exported but in Spain you can find the products in Madrid (for example in La Colazione) and Barcelona (Bodega Bonavista).
Pancracio, extreme union between salt and chocolate
The Andalucian gourmet brand Pancracio has gone beyond and created a Cocoa Sea Salt Flakes, a very surprising proposal that goes well with salads, greasy fishes such as salmon or tuna and marinated fish and meat. The price for 120 gr. is 8,40 euro in its online shop. Pancracio’s products can be bought in Harrods in London, Bergdorf Goodman in New York, Isolée in Madrid and Santa Eulalia in Barcelona.