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October 12, 2013

Chocovivo Chocolate Tasting

ChocoVivo's process explained.

Another really cool activity in Los Angeles sure to please any foodie is an artisanal chocolate tasting  in a boutique chocolate factory at ChocoVivo in Culver City.  You can sample ChocoVivo's taste test menu on a walk in basis during normal open hours for just $5.   I was lucky enough to join in on a private lecture and tasting after-hours with an extensive talk from the owner and chef Patricia Tsai. 

Dark chocolate is a heart-healthy "Superfood."  Ms. Tsai uses it in its pure, unrefined form along with whole herbs and spices to make exquisite drinks and bars.  I was in heaven at her boutique, billed as the first Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory in Los Angeles. 

A demo grinder in the restaurant for up-close viewing.

Our luscious tasting board.

from the top down, 75% Cacao, Almonds & Sea Salt, Hazelnuts & Sea Salt, Macadamia & Coconut, Shangri-La (Black Sesame & Gogi Berries), and Mayan Tradition (Cinnamon & Hot Spices)

Proprietess Patricia Tsai spoke on chocolate sourcing and production.

A raw cacao bean.

The kitchen at ChocoVivo where the magic actually happens.

Meetup participants enjoying the event.

Cacao nibs

A dried cacao pod; the beans must be broken out from within a pod like this.

The actual grinder used at ChocoVivo.  The ingredients are pushed through up to five times to make a bar.

Rustic necklaces of cacao beans are also available for purchase.

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