New and returning bars plus potatoes

We’ve got some great new bars in the shop right now, as well as some old favourites…

The popular Zotter bars have returned in fun new flavours, like Olive and Lemon, Candied Ginger, and Celery, Truffle and Port Wine. The Strawberry and ever popular Bacon versions are out as well.

There are more dark-milk Bonnat bars for those of you (like me!) who crave a rich, flavourful milk chocolate once in awhile. Java and Surabaya are on the shelves right now.

Mad├ęcasse also sent us a great new flavoured bar – sea salt and cacao nib. A big hit of sea salt with the crunch of cacao nibs, sitting in their 63% chocolate. Amazing!

Bags of Francois Pralus’ multi-coloured potatoes are also back! Not to ruin the surprise, but these are actually hazelnut praline wrapped with a chocolate shell, not potatoes. But they are incredibly fun and yummy.

Look for Mothers’ Day items coming soon!

Amano – Guayas

Compared to the likes of Amedei, Pralus and Cluizel, Amano is a relatively new chocolatier, who started up in 2006 in the Rocky Mountains of Utah. Although only four years old, Amano has come out of the gate strong, picking up more than a few awards from the Academy of Chocolate in 2009.

Opening any Amano bar is always special, and this one is no different, with a rich, almost milky, brown colour reflected throughout the surface. Immediately there is a lovely, sweet floral note, along with the essential vanilla, and maybe a few hints of coffee for good measure. The attention to quality is seen in the bar’s shiny finish, and a refreshing snap notes the good temper.

As with their other ‘single origin’ bars, Amano has really allowed the flavour of the bean to shine here. Lots of florals as hinted at by the initial aroma, along with some brightness from something like raspberries or blackberries. Also, there is a big hit of cinnamon in this one that went all the way through for me. Just at the end, a slight bit of smokiness to balance everything out (this is the perfect amount for those of us who find Ocumare’s smokiness too overpowering). With a nice, long lasting finish, this bar is a definite winner.

One of the great things about Amano is the obvious passion that goes not only into their bars, but also into the relationship between their company and the farmers and communities who cultivate the cacao used for their chocolate. You can read the stories behind Guayas and Amano’s other bars here.

Their website also features a fairly extensive and useful write up on tasting chocolate here.

We’ve got a wide range of Amano’s bars stocked in the Shop, so come in and test one (or two, or three…) out – you won’t be disappointed.

Chocophilia products available this year in the Good Food Box.

Have you heard of a local project called Eat Local First? It is a very cool idea, and we are supporting it this year by putting some of our products in their distribution center. This means that you can get local chocolate delivered along with local fruits and vegetables! A few of our products now show up in their catalog. If you are interested in the local food economy, check out Eat Local First, and learn more. The order desk opens today!

Two part-time job openings at Kerstin’s Chocolates

We are looking for two new part-timers at the shop. If you are interested in interviewing for these positions, please send your resume and a cover letter to info@kerstinschocolates.com (and PLEASE list contact info for your references in your resume.)

1) Enthusiastic Part-Time Retail Sales Assistant Required

Some retail sales experience preferred. Passion for chocolate is mandatory. 3 days/week (Shifts currently required are: Thursday 11-6, Friday 11-6, Saturday 10-4), totaling approximately 20 hours/week.
Starting as soon as possible.

2) Reliable Part-Time Chocolate Production Assistant Required

Attention to detail and a passion for quality is a must. Candidates must be eager to learn how to work with chocolate. Culinary experience a plus. 2-3 days/week max, approximately 15-20 hours/week. Starting May 15th.

If you are interested in either of these positions, contact us soon for more details!

New Corallo and other ‘warm’ things

At least we had some warm weather over the long weekend, but obviously spring is more elusive than many of us thought. In the mean time, we’ve got some perfect treats to last you until the warm weather re-appears.

We had some fun new Claudio Corallo selections arrive in the Shop this past week. More of the chocolate dipped coffee beans have come in, as well as two new items – chocolate covered ginger and pear infused raisins dipped in chocolate. Also, Corallo’s Seattle store opened in December, so be sure to check it out if you’re in the area. You can read an article on their Shop, and all their fun offerings here.

Chai Spiced Walnuts, Chili Lime Cashews, and chocolate dipped lemon peels are also out in the Shop, as well as new Kusmi Tea flavours, including one green tea with rose petals… fresh enough to remind of the warm weather to come, but still soothing enough to sip on a cool, windy, April day.

And of course, if you stop by the Shop, we are always happy to make you a warm cup of drinking chocolate.

Enjoy your weekend, and keep warm!

More Chocolate Education Dates

If you love organic chocolate, there are still some tickets left for our organic chocolate tasting on Wednesday, April 14th.

We’ve added a new tasting on Wednesday, April 28th, that will feature 10 different milk and dark chocolates. As always, the essential bit of history and information on T. cacao will be included.

In addition to tastings, we still have one spot left in our April 11th Chocolate Making Class, and we’ve added a new session for May 25th. Tempering and ganache will be covered, and best of all, you get to create your very own confections to take home and enjoy!

Tickets for both tastings and making classes can be found here, or give us a call (780.990.0011) to book a spot.