She lies on the table, right before me, with an alluring overture right down the front, enticing me, knowing all along that I won’t be able to resist. Fortina. 65% of dark, sinful chocolate topped with pistachios from Bronte, strawberry slices, blackcurrant teases and honey roasted peanuts. I ventured and took one bite out of this fine selection and at once I became the costar in an unseen commercial that featured surprising content from faraway tropical places. “Keep your shirt on”, I told myself and took hap full of fruits and nuts.
First it was the dominant aroma of Arriba cocoa bean. This one, grown exclusively, close to the equator, high in the Andes Mountains. I am told that due to the combination of unique climate and rich soil, the beans have a highly distinct aroma, a fact to which my tongue can unequivocally testify. Then comes the Bourbon vanilla with the nectar of red fruits in it. You know, I had been feeling sickly that particular weekend and at that moment, I swear it, I came to. And faced with the responsibility of writing this article, I took off.
I carefully wrapped the remaining chocolate in its sleeve and headed to the beach. Only there, the sun and heat worked against Fortina’s best interest. Once hard an supple, it now hung in ragged, drippy layers against the cellophane window of the sleeve. So I went to work on it again, this time licking and chomping on it as if it were an ice cream. Dear lord of candy! This way it tasted even better!
And by the way, let me tell you just what pistachios from Bronte means. Bronte is a place in Sicily that is famous the world over for their exquisite pistachios. There, the pistachio orchards are harvested only once every two years, which makes the nuts longer and larger.
Now, this world is full of chocolate, I know, and I have had my share of varieties myself. Only folks, let me tell you, chocoMe Fortina is not your regular choco bar. The nutty-fruity toppings (a first for me) compliment the slightly bitter bar so well. I thoroughly enjoyed this variety and soon after I had tried a good many other kinds from chocoMe . You can order yours online for $15.00. And mind you, by going to the website, you can order from a possible array of no less then 60 million combinations of chocolate creations!
Don’t be afraid to run the gamut:
Arriba, 39% milk chocolate
Callebaut White chocolate with cranberry and freeze-dried sour cherry pieces
Fortina Dark chocolate with blackcurrant, strawberry slices and raspberries whole
I followed the master chocolatier's advice in how to properly taste my chocolate and moved on to the next creation: milk chocolate with pecans, strawberries and raspberries. I first made sure the bar sat at room temperature (about 70). Then I opened it and saw that the bar is shinny and somewhat glossy. I smelled the pure chocolate, in perfect mix with the scent of my chosen toppings. Then I broke off a little piece. It made a clear, sharp cracking sound. The chocolate didn't crumble away. I put the piece in my mouth and rest it a few moments on the tongue. Then rolled it around in the mouth to taste all the ingredients. Then finally I bit into it. And I really wanted to see how long I would be able to still taste all of the toppings after having swallowed them. For quite a while, my friends...
The creator, manager, chocolatier and marketer of chocoMe, Gabor Meszaros, started this business in Budapest, Hungary in 2010 after being dissmised from a trade job in the beer industry. He first attended an intense course in chocolate making with a reknown Belgian chocolate company. Then Gabor rented out the abandoned space of an old business, retrofitted it with marble counters and industry specific machines, then went to work. Please watch this video and see what the operation looks like now.
Many other creations and what seems like unending combinations can be found on the chocoMe website under helpful headings like:
Fruity Products, Spicy Products, Fruity-Nutty Products, Flowery Products, Products for Wine, Nutty Products, Coffee Products and Exclusive Products.