Exceptional Chocolates in Berkeley
Artisan chocolatier Christopher Blue has elevated the art of chocolate making to a whole new level at Chocolatier Blue in central Berkeley, which opened earlier this summer.
Blue, who has worked with the likes of Chef Charlie Trotter of Chicago, is the only chocolatier in the United States to use Amedei chocolate from Tuscany that’s made from 100 percent Venezuelan sun-dried cacao beans. He also uses Five Star organic butter, which has the highest fat content of any butter in the world.
His chocolates are organic. What’s more, the fillings are made using such techniques as grilling, roasting, and sous vide. The packaging is all biodegradable, and much of it made from recyclable materials.
I’ll use my patented scale of 1 to 10 lip-smackers, with 1 being the “Bleh, save your money” far end of the spectrum; 5 being the “I’m not sure I’d buy it, but if it was just there, I might nibble some” middle-of-the-road response; and 10 being the “My gawd, I could die now and never be happier, because this is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth” supreme ranking.
Chocolatier Blue: These are beautifully molded chocolates with Modern Art-like colors. On first bite, you notice that the chocolate shell is quite thin, so that it shatters and melts instantly in your mouth to give way immediately to the intensely flavored fillings.
The selection changes seasonally. The “macadamia” was not the expected half or whole nuts enrobed in ganache. Instead, the nuts were roasted, pulverized, and blended in to create a thick filling, rich with tropical nuttiness. The “apricot” tasted of glorious summer fruit. And the “espresso” was strong and punchy just as it should be. A box of 24 pieces is $42; a box of 52 is $80. Rating: 9 lip-smackers.