Through her blog Chocolate Noise, writer Megan Giller has followed her love of chocolate to all of the U.S.’s most exciting bean-to-bar chocolate makers, seeking out craft chocolate wherever it lives. If you’ve ever been curious about what goes into a chocolate bar that makes it so pricey (or so cheap), her new book Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution (out today) will explain the bean-to-bar process from start to finish, give you sweet-tooth-satisfying recipes and provide tips on pairing chocolate with coffee, beer, spirits, bread and even cheese. It’s an essential resource for anyone who cares about how we can responsibly enjoy a food that has been sold to us by corporations as unsustainably cheap, made so through the exploitation of labor and the erasure of flavor. After reading the book, you’re definitely going to be craving some of the finer stuff, so we got Giller to give us her five essential chocolate stops in Brooklyn.
I love stopping by this super friendly Red Hook bean-to-bar maker’s factory to say hello and sample their ever-rotating collection of interesting inclusion bars (that’s fancy-speak for “stuff in your chocolate”). Take a tour for only $10 and you can taste chocolate right out of the grinder.
Also in Red Hook, this bean-to-bar maker exclusively uses cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic. Be sure to check out the impressive vintage chocolate-making machines as well as sample spirits from Cacao Prieto’s sister brand, Widow Jane.
The Chocolate Room
Chocolate cake. Chocolate brownies. Chocolate ice cream. Chocolate milk. Are you sensing a pattern? These are old-fashioned sweets like your mom used to make, and they’re hard to beat.
Bedford Cheese Shop
The craft chocolate movement is exploding across the country, but it can still be tricky to find some of these bars. Bedford Cheese has a solid selection, featuring Askinosie, Fruition, Woodblock, LetterPress, and Parliament.
You’ve probably sipped fancy cocktails at this late-night hot spot, but you might not have noticed that they have some of the best chocolate in the world on the menu. The chocolate and sherry tasting for two features a flight of Amano Chocolate, one of the first bean-to-bar makers in the country and one of my personal favorites.