Chocolate Salon This year marks the 10th San Francisco International Chocolate Salon. I’ve been a judge and moderated panels and even spoken a couple of times at this fun event. It offers the opportunity to discover new chocolates, new flavors, new creations and even meet some chocolatiers and chocolate makers. There’s also usually some wine and spirits for those over 21. 
At the upcoming SF Chocolate Salon I recommend checking out chocolates from some of my favorite local producers—melt in your mouth truffles from NeoCocoa, pretty bon bons from Jade Chocolates and Socola Chocolatier and scrumptious chocolate covered marzipan from Nuttyness
My other favorites are William Dean Chocolates from Florida and Amano Artisan Chocolate from Utah. Don’t miss either of them! 
The reason I enjoy attending (not to mention judging) the Chocolate Salon is I get to catch up in person with some of the best chocolate makers and chocolatiers I know. Nothing beats finding out what they are up to and trying some of their latest treats. 
At the last Salon I got a chance to try the new flavored bars from Amano. Here are my tasting notes:
Inspired by a pastry in Paris, this has just very clear raspberry flavor and just a hint of something floral. Eating it is a dreamy, transporting experience. 
Chocolate, cardamom and black peper is one of Art Pollard of Amano’s favorite combinations and I have to agree. This bar is exotic and familiar at the same time. For me this is the most well balanced of the flavored bars. 
This bar has a kick, but also some sweet fruity flavors from the mango. It’s only for chocolate lovers who can handle some heat. 
The SF Chocolate Salon is this Saturday March 5th, 2016 at Fort Mason in San Francisco and tickets are $20 if purchased in advance. 
Whether you are or are not attending the Salon, I have a treat for you. Thanks to Amano I’m giving away two absolutely exquisite chocolate bars, the Chuao Village, a single origin Venezuelan dark chocolate 70% cocoa (2 oz, $9.95) and Dos Rios, a single origin bar from the Dominican Republic, also 70% cocoa (3oz. $7.95). 
The Chuao Village bar is made from some of the most prized cocao in the world. It’s extremely precious and difficult to attain, even dried in a unique manner. You don’t just fly in to Chuao, you hike hours over the mountains through rainforests or take a fishing boat to reach it on the coast. 
The Dos Rios bar has a very unusual and complex profile with strong citrus and spice flavors. On tasting it you might think it’s flavored with orange and cinnamon, but it’s not. It’s one of the signature bars from Amano because the beans are are available exclusively to them. 
To win the bars, share any memorable chocolate experience–what chocolate you enjoyed, and anything you remember about eating or drinking it in a comment below. You must have a US mailing address to win. You MUST leave your email address in the field designated in the comment, it will not be visible to the public, only to me. DO NOT leave your email address in the body of your comment, if you do, I will delete it. Only one entry per person! I will choose the winner at random on March 10, 2016. 

Disclaimer: Review samples and giveaway prizes provided by Amano. I was not provided with monetary compensation for this or any other post. 


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