Taza Chocolate is having an Open House & Factory Tour this Saturday, May 2nd at their factory in Union Square, Somerville. If you don’t know about Taza, how the chocolate tastes (delicious), or how they operate (excellent corporate citizens), the open house is a perfect opportunity to find out. You’ll see their factory, tucked into an industrial building, sample chocolate, meet the makers, and see where the beans are roasted and winnowed.
There are many details that set Taza apart from almost all other chocolate makers in the US, and I’d try to explain them, but they’d just get jumbled up. Youll be much better served by reading this excellent Cake and Commerce post. If you’re too excited to read, watch Sooz’s videos on How The Roaster Works, How The Cocoa Winnowing Machine Works, and Grinding the Cocoa Nibs.
Last week, I had the opportunity to go through the factory tour with the special bonus of seeing the beans ground into chocolate and watching some bars get molded out of the tempering machine. I refuse to cook with a thermometer, tempering is something I always hope happens to the shell of my truffles by accident (it never does). Because of this, I got more excited to see the tempering machine than I was expecting. Like before with the post from Cake and Commerce, I’m going to shirk off the responsibility of writing up the visit, but lucky for you, Bostonist has covered it perfectly. Also, peep this wonderful picture of some of Boston’s best food bloggers (I know, you’re wondering what I was doing there, me too) in hair nets.
Taza’s ‘bean to bar’ process for making chocolate makes a bar that’s about as far away from a Hershey Kiss as you can get. The texture of the chocolate is pleasantly grainy and the flavor is almost fruity. I like how they direct trade with (and actually overpay) bean co-ops to get the best of the best cocoa beans, and I like how the chocolate is delivered locally by Metro Pedal Power. I’m in the bag for them and you should check out their Open House. Also, if you see Alex (at left), be sure to ask him if he’d prefer to be known as a chocolatier or chocolate maker.