"Today's missive goes beyond Fair Trade (a farce of sorts), Direct Trade or any semblance of cooperative production – it is a true partnership between the farmer, grower, wet mass harvester, producer and you."
Pitch Dark, a new Northeast Portland chocolatier, makes lush, luxurious bars using single-varietal or single-estate cacao beans. Our favorite so far, the Fiji, is a dark, smoky bar with 73 percent cacao and a flavor profile that's vaguely reminiscent of good barbecue sauce.
If you need a nudge to nibble on some locally made chocolate, look no further. Today is National Chocolate Day -- as good an excuse as any here at the Oregonian to check in on (read: sample) what's happening locally with all things cacao.
Pitch Dark Chocolate does it a bit differently, in two distinct ways. First, their cocoa beans are single farm sourced. In other words, not only do they come from a specific village, but, more often than not, they come from just one single farm, allowing Flick to isolate the unique flavor of cocoa beans found on that farm.
When he was just 14 years old Brian Flick started a confection company making wholesale chocolates for events and weddings In grad school - he studies applied cultural analysis in Sweden - Flick jumped at the opportunity to travel to Fiji, where he got the chance to study the cultural and economic factors of the island's cocoa industry.
In other words, he's always had the chocolate bug, but his new production and retail outfit showcases the kinds of homemade chocolates that most Americans have never tasted.
That's because the beans he sources from Fiji, Ecuador and Madagascar don't come from the single countries, or even single regions, but rather from single farms. So expect Pitch Dark's chocolates (made with 73 percent cocoa) to have completely different flavor profiles than most if not all the chocolate you've enjoyed so far.
Flick also says he plans to offer confectionary and bean-to-bar classes.
The Oregonian 3/23/14
The neon sign beckons... CHOCOLATE. A simple storefront hides the complexity of the chocolate process. From farms in faraway Fiji and Ecuador the single origin chocolate beans are gathered, roasted and selected for the final processing into magnificent "Modern American Chocolate." This is the new kid on the eclectic Sandy Blvd. block It's Pitchdark Chocolate.
This isn't your PA chocolate bar. The chocolate that comes out of Pitchdark Chocolate is as modern and refined as chocolate comes. With the expertise and passion of owner, Brian Flick behind the products, we thought we might be in for a treat as the store front was opened to the public. And we were not disappointed in the least. Brian is an amazing person who fell in love with chocolate at age 14, followed his passion through career and education and, at age 28, is realizing a dream. And I sense this is just the beginning.
While Pitchdark Chocolate will be making delectable chocolates and chocolate bars to be sold to the passersby, you'll also find their chocolate in dark drinking chocolate (just mix with milk or coffee) and bulk chocolate destined to be in your "cake, pastry, coffee, cocktail and everywhere else." In fact, in honor of the opening nearby Laurelwood Brew Pub was serving up some chocolate infused beer.
You'll see the chocolate being processed right in the shop. What a delightful destination for a weekend walk or, perhaps, to top off a dinner at one of the local Hollywood district restaurants.
From the Editor...
When he was just 14 years old, Brian Flick started a confection company making wholesale chocolates for events and weddings. In grad school—he studied applied cultural analysis in Sweden—Flick jumped at the opportunity to travel to Fiji, where he got the chance to study the cultural and economic factors of the island’s cocoa industry. In other words, he’d always had the chocolate bug, but his new production and retail outfit showcases the kinds of homemade chocolates that most Americans have never tasted. That’s because the beans he sources from Fiji, Ecuador and Madagascar don’t come from single countries or even single regions, but rather from single farms. So, expect Pitch Dark’s chocolates (made with 73 percent cocoa) to have completely different flavor profiles than most—if not all—of the chocolate you’ve enjoyed so far. Flick also say he plans on offering confectionary and bean-to-bar classes. Chad Walsh, 3/20/2014