This week, our Exotic Bar Armoire’s spotlight is on Art Pollard, the genius behind Amano Artisan Chocolate. I must say, it was a sheer delight for Heidi and me to meet him at the Fine Chocolate Industry Association’s bi-annual shin-dig in San Francisco last January. Shy and completely unassuming, (also prone to blushing!) this humble man has achieved chocolate rock-star status in my opinion! He certainly has come a long way from making chocolate in his garage “factory” back in 1996!
The word Amano means “by hand” and “they love” in Italian and that most certainly describes the care taken in creating these high altitude fine chocolates from Orem, Utah (4,441’). After snagging several domestic awards and acclamations, Amano became the first American company at the Academy of Chocolate Awards (the “Olympics” of our chocolate world) to claim a Gold award, for bean-to-bar dark chocolate. In 2009 Martin Christy, founder member of the Academy of Chocolate, named Amano as one of the top eight bean-to-bar chocolate companies in the world. (Amano is the only American company to make Christy’s list) Working in small, carefully controlled batches, the glorious people of Amano strive “simply to make the very best chocolate humanly – or heavenly – possible.” By the way, Amano also works very closely with the cacao farmers that supply their beans, paying them nearly double the Fair Trade standard.
Gracing our Amoire from Amano are the following unique pieces, each with a beautiful painting reflecting the growing and harvest of cacao gracing the package:
Occumare 70% (origin: ocumare is the actual name of the beans grown in the coastal regions of Venezuela) with pronounced tasting notes of plum with a hint of delicate floral accents
Guayas 70% (origin: wild Nacional beans harvested from the Guayas River Basin in Ecuador) with tasting notes that are rich and complex, carrying a spicy, smokey floral flavor with subtle waves of blackberry
Chuao 70% (origin: made from rare Venezuelan criollo beans) with deep and complex tasting notes of fruits, nuts and a touch of coffee
We are so proud to bring the love of Amano to Boulder. Thank-you chocolate master Art Pollard (self-proclaimed “Indiana Jones” of cacao bean hunting) for your passion – we admire you and your company so very much!