I am giving a paper on "CACAO AND CHOCOLATE IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: It's history and economics" at The World History Conference in Honolulu, February 16 and 17. ALOHA!


Chocolate: How to taste it, and how to know what you are buying

Sunday, Febuary 12, 5:30pm

I will speak on "Chocolate: How to taste it, and how to know what you are buying".  With some history as well, and a tasting too. Call for reservation and information. Century Book Store: 1039 E Green Street, Pasadena. (626) 344-6411


I went to Milk Farm in Eagle Rock for a chocolate and cheese tasting. The owner of this wonderful cheese shop is an expert on cheese. She did a wonderful job describing the cheeses! David Menkes brought some of his best Letterpress bars to match up with the cheese. Pictured giving a talk on how he does it, I can only say his bars get better and better.


This dark chocolate bar is made by a Swiss couple using beans from Panama. If you can find it give it a try.



SWEET EATS was launched in 2015.  It is located in Mesa in the Valley of the Sun. And, it is run by Weston Buress and his wife.  They moved to Phoenix from New York, and decided to make a bar that met dietary restrictions, provided a rich mouth feel, and was vegan and paleo. They use mostly beans from Venezuela and the Dominican  epublic. The bars he produces are a dark 70% with salty nuts; a dairy free 56% milk chocolate using coconut milk that has no emulsifer or refined sugar; and a white chocolate with toasted coconut.  They are expanding the number of stores that take their bars, appearing at markets, and in the process of launching more bars. 


Brian Flick (pictured) founded PITCH DARK in 2014.  His interest in chocolate began when he was 14 and first made chocolate.   By 17 he was ready to start his first business, which was selling wholesale chocolate.  During his college studies he took a part time job making pastries.  Then he travelled to different parts of the world,which included three months working with cacao farmers in Fiji.  He now uses Fijian beans from these same farmers, as well as cacao from Nicaragua, Ecuador and Madagascar.  He started with one store and processing area ,but has since expanded to a new and much larger factory that will in time have its own customer viewing area.  His new equipment will allow him to considerably expand output as well as his variety of chocolate bars.  Brian is also starting a new commercial line of chips and bars for chocolatiers, pastry makers and bakers.  He will also be able to do private label chocolates as well as package them.  PITCH DARK beans are given a light roast.  You can taste what that means in both his fruity and floral bars in dark chocolate, and in his 99% chocolate bar made from four varietals.  Some PITCH DARK chocolate bars are already sold internationally.


if you can find it, try this Japanese bean to bar product. MEIJI comes in a box wrapper, with the expiration date prominently displayed on the back. They tell you it is "Elegant Bitter". Open one of the little packages in the box and see for yourself. My tasters gave it a high rating.