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Local Chocolate in the South

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Finally, there is a “local” American chocolate. In Nashville, Tennessee, no less. Olive & Sinclair Chocolate, Tennessee’s only bean to bar chocolate maker, sources its beans from Ghana and the Dominican Republic. It has found a way to court and reflect a Southern palate in its products. Their chocolate makers uniquely mix buttermilk into their white chocolate. Brown sugar sweetens everything. Duck fat thickens their caramels. Bourbon cured cocoa nibs crackles their SOFI (Specialty Food Association) award winning Bourbon Nib Brittle. A refurbished melanger, formerly used for grinding grits, processes their cocoa beans.

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Generally, it is quite a challenge to find a “local” chocolate unless you travel 20 degrees north or south of the equator, where cocoa beans grow. Even then the chocolate would most likely be served as a beverage, if at all. In African countries most growers never taste a chocolate made from their cocoa beans. Chocolate as we know it in the cooler, wealthier Northern Hemisphere requires importing cocoa beans out of their equatorial habitat and transporting them long distances, often by boat. Buying chocolate from cocoa beans grown and processed in Hawaii or from Guatemala might be the closest to “local” chocolate available here in the States.

At least a “local” flavor in our chocolate may be found at Olive & Sinclair. All of this Southern chocolate loving care may be found as far away as Thailand and as close as your internet connection.

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