product: taza chocolate

Taza is a wholesome bean-to-bar chocolate operation based in Somerville, MA, the kind of goody two-shoe you love to hate until you realize it deserves your love.  Their website claims they are the “only producer in the U.S. of 100% stone ground, organic chocolate.”  That is an impressive claim to be able to make, and their chocolate is just off the charts, ridiculous, life-altering, and really damn good.  Cursed with a voracious sweet tooth, I daresay I have tried almost all the chocolate out there — Hershey’s, Reese’s, Dove, Lindt, See’s,  Ritter, Ghiradelli, brands high and low and everything in between.  If Taza’s is what chocolate used to be, I vouch that modern technology and the modern palette have collectively destroyed what chocolate was beyond recognition.

Two features of this chocolate make it unique: texture and flavor.  Ground by Oaxacan stone mills, the chocolate retains these delightful, crunchy particles of sugar and cacao that really do “pop” in your mouth.  Remember pop rocks?  Channel that, except without the neon colors and weird bubbling sensation.  Unadulterated by milk and other add-ins, Taza’s chocolate contains nothing but ground single origin cacao and raw Brazailian cane sugar.  Both sustainably sourced, was there even any doubt?  I tried and fell hard for the salted almond variety, to which organic almonds and kosher salt are added.  The fact that this chocolate contains only four ingredients: that is mind boggling to me.  Reese’s peanut butter cups will always find a home in my stomach– I’m an unfortunate product of my time– but they no longer have my heart.

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