Slightly modified words from the past..
I've been following the chocolate world and studying chocolate for about 8 years now...
I love it, it's one of my favorite things because it's so endless, and it truly hasn't been fully explored yet, so there's so much to discover.. Same reasons I'm so heavily into craft beers and help run a beer club in San Francisco.
There's so much to discover and a support group always helps push further into the next level of chocolate, beer, or whatever other geeky thing warms your brain.
I'll start this off..
Single origin cacao is great and has been studied for years now, but single crop is a new thing coming up more in the chocolate world.. Where there's a single strain of bean turned into a bar, and done three or four seasons back to back and there's a vertical tasting to taste the differences between season and year.
Domori is doing amazing things with splicing strains that have been extinct for many years, mostly due to being wiped out by natural disasters such as hurricanes over a hundred years ago... They're taking it further by buying their own crop land in Central and South America and overseeing the entire process from bean to bar, which is intense considering they're an Italian company.
Some of my favorite brands:http://www.domori.com/it/home.php
Domori is the shit... the way i see it is that they're leading the pack and seem to have quite a bit of money to work with to push cacao research into the next generation of manufacturers. They make some of the most expensive bars in the world, but you don't need much, they go up to about $20 for a 50g bar, so essentially it's a $40 bar of chocolate..http://www.slitti.it/
Slitti makes the best dark milk bar i've ever tasted, clocking in at 72% it's perfectly balanced, i just wish the bars were thinner. Overall amazing..http://www.claudiocorallo.com/
Claudio Corallo's line is well established by really brining in coffee beans into the mix, not really by using coffee beans but by using cupping techniques and bringing it over to the chocolate world. Their bars are mostly prepacks of five bars, they're quite pricey, but worth every penny. Bar shape is perfect and they're very well tempered.
My chocolate dealer...
Chocolate Covered: http://www.yelp.com/biz/chocolate-covered-san-francisco
I've been going there about once a week for six years or so...
Once we get to page ten of this thread we will have Style Forum SuperCacao Meet-up. "Hai Guys! Let's eat Theobroma and go to the Alden store!"