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Chuao Chocolatier - Review

Putting the Wow! In Chocolate

Chuao's Spicy Maya dark chocolate bar contains pasilla chile, cayenne pepper and cinnamon

Great chocolates, like most of the finer things in life, are a product of their upbringing. That's why Southern California's Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) relies on Venezuelan cacao and European technique for its chocolate bars, bonbons and truffles. 

Named after Venezuela's legendary cacao-producing region, Chuao Chocolatier specializes in “fusion chocolate." The company relies on Venezuelan Criollo beans, which may not have the bite or the aroma you associate with chocolate made from African or Trinidadian cacao, but nevertheless create delectable confections with a rich, chocolate flavor and smooth, lingering finish.

Master chocolatier and co-founder Michael Antonorsi fills his bonbons with imaginative ganaches and flavor combinations. In the dark chocolate category, choices include Ginger Green Tea, with green tea-infused ginger ganache; Dark Passion, exotic passion fruit cooked into soft caramel in a dark chocolate bonbon; or Chocolate Margarita, lemon tequila dark chocolate ganache topped with a preserved lemon chip.

Milk chocolate centers might be Meyer Lemon Mojito, a lemon-and-mint infused caramel; Bananas Foster, which combines bananas and brown sugar caramel; or Dulce de Leche, the bonbon version of the popular Argentine caramel.

For chocolate purists, there are truffles and bars. And for the oenophile on your list, take advantage of their chocolate and wine pairings. Or perhaps you warm the soul on a chilly day with a mug of Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate, based on an ancient Mexican recipe.

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Reviewed by Sylvie Greil

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