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Tickling chocolate: Chuao's Firecracker

August 3, 2011 |  8:00 am

Firecracker (1 of 1) Just discovered: thrilling chocolate bars from  San Diego County's Chuao Chocolatier. How do you pronounce it, though? Chew-wow.

If the dark stuff laced with hazelnuts and liqueurs doesn’t tempt you anymore, try one of the gutsy flavors from two Venezulan-born brothers, Michael and Richard Antonorsi. Named for the famous cacao-producing region of Venezuela, the bars are made with ethically sourced chocolate. The founders also contribute funds to La Fundación Proyecto Paria, which provides technical assistance to cacao growers in Venezuela’s Paria Peninsula. 

My favorite is the Firecracker, caramel chocolate truffle fired up with chipotle chile. But there’s also some devious popping candy in there to tickle the tastebuds. The Panko bar is fun, too: dark chocolate with toasted panko breadcrumbs and sea salt. For best effect, chill the chocolate bars in the freezer before eating, especially in this weather. About $4.99 for a 2.8-ounce bar.

Available at Chuao Chocolatier Cafes in San Diego, Del Mar and Encinitas and at select Whole Foods Markets, Bristol Farms and Gelson’s, as well as the occasional wine shop.

 For more info visit www.chuaochocolatier.com. You can also order online or by calling (888) 635-1444.

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—S. Irene Virbila

Photo credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times

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