Fancy yourself a dark chocolate connoisseur — or want to become one? Bite into a TCHO
bar — or four — to get an intense lesson on cacao flavors. TCHO bars come in flavors like “Fruity” and “Nutty” — but they don’t contain any fruit, nuts, or other added flavors — relying just on the carefully produced cacao bean itself to provide the subtler, purer flavors of the bars.
That means all four TCHO “flavors” are created with the same five simple ingredients: Cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin and vanilla beans. Yet sample these bars side by side, and you’ll be surprised to taste the unique flavors in each bar. “We believe that flavor — not vague terms like 'dark,’ ‘% cacao,’ or ‘origin’ — is the real key to savoring chocolate,” TCHO brags on its “Nutty” packaging.
And the company has certainly convinced me that not all cocoa is created equal. My favorite is the Fruity bar, which I recommend you start with if you’re concerned that your untrained palate won’t be able to taste TCHO’s subtle flavors. Fruity’s delightfully distinctive berry notes are so intense you can’t miss them.
TCHO’s chocolate bars are both organic and fair trade certified. In fact, TCHO credits deep fair trade practices — going beyond simply providing a premium price to really work with the cacao farmers in developing superior products that benefit all financially — for its delicious and unique chocolates. By forging longer-term relationships with cacao producers, the co-ops that grow the cacao and the people at TCHO are able to work together to tweak, refine, and improve the chocolate flavors. That’s why some of the flavors have had “2.0″ added to their names; the flavor profile was revamped enough to merit an upgraded status.
Find TCHO bars in many Whole Foods stores, other specialty food stores across the nation, and online at TCHO.com. A 2-pack of 60 gram bars costs $11 — but I recommend getting the $20 sampler 4-pack
to try all four flavors side by side.