|Sebastian Cisneros, the founder of Cocanu.|
I quickly tossed in my latest picks for most unusual combinations into the fray, two Cacanu chocolate bars, one that's infused with wood and one that contains Fernet Branca, a bitter drink made in Italy. Before you wrinkle your nose, let me tell you that it works. I know! How bizarre. After trying these eye-opening chocolates, though, it almost seems strange to add them to the weird combination list. Despite the sound of it, these flavors work incredibly well together.
Cocanu is a Portland-based chocolate company founded by innovative chocolatier Sebastian Cisneros, who was born in Ecuador and moved to Oregon when he was 17. Everything about the hand-crafted, small-batch chocolate bars expands the mind, from the individually wax-sealed packages to the classy, minimalist-looking chocolate squares. There's much to be appreciated.
From the Cocanu website:
By giving chocolate a tickle, we stray away from the island of perfection and tumble into an unknown territory of raucous beauty.
Surfaced in September, 2009,
in Portland, Oregon."
As many people who read my blog know, I get excited when I see anything with hazelnuts in it. Chocolate and hazelnut is probably my favorite combination, so I couldn't resist getting Cocanu's Gardel bar. This is a bar made with Ecuadorian cacao, Oregon hazelnuts and Italian Fernet Branca.
This interesting and intriguing bar has a gentle sweetness that emerges only after the first impressions of smoky wood and spicy, earthy chocolate hit your palate. What a unique flavor! There's something familiar yet foreign, strange and alluring about this bar. The bouquet is floral, but it's not too powerful, which is good, as anything too fragrant would detract from the chocolate. The beauty of this bar is that the flavors mingle ever so seductively and brilliantly together, each undertone emerging briefly to the forefront and then receding to give a different flavor a turn with the chocolate taste consistently holding its own, steadily tapping the taste buds. If you want something different, this is the bar for you.
If you happen to be up at 2 a.m. and sample these bars, be prepared for your creative juices to start flowing as you become increasingly alert. Whether it's because of the chocolate itself or the uncommon additions in the bars, you will find that consuming Cocanu chocolates is a life-changing experience.