Last fall, my brother and I stopped by Mutari Chocolate to wait out traffic. The factory-cafe smells absolutely wonderful when you step inside. We decided to share the Tasting Flight, $15, of single origin craft chocolate. The two sipping chocolates were Peruvian Ucayali and Ugandan Semuliki Forest; the two hot chocolates were Himalayan Pink Salt and Spicy Mexican (both made with the Ugandan source). I also ordered the whipped organic coconut cream flavored with vanilla bean and the housemade marshmallows, knowing that we'd need some contrast for the intense chocolates.
I hadn't realized how challenging these might be for the uninitiated. William was almost offended by this sampler. These acidic, earthy unsweet presentations were not to his liking though if forced to pick one favorite, he'd say the Spicy Mexican. I did not like either of the sipping chocolates, finding them too woody and mushroom-y. The hot chocolates were more palatable, however, I think that I just don't like African sourced chocolate that much. The coconut cream was wonderful for smoothing over the palate, and the marshmallows added the sweetness to recover from the earth and leathery tones.
What we really liked here besides the marshmallows were the intense pâte de fruit. And the chocolate chip cookie that went home with us for later was lovely. Seems like I might enjoy Mutari's confections and baked goods more.
504 Front St A
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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