If you love chocolate the way we love chocolate, Cacao’s shop off of SW 13th avenue in Portland is a chocolate lover’s paradise. We had heard from numerous friends that the ‘drinking chocolates’ at Cacao were to die for. Jade and I were planning a cheesecake recipe that incorporated chocolate for my birthday so it was the perfect excuse to go and pick out something special.
They have a vast collection of artisan chocolates in every percentage and variation you can imagine. They even have chocolate beauty products! After speaking with the associate behind the counter, he helped us narrow down our choices to three types of baking chocolate.
The first was a 65% Venezuelan “Maracaibo.” It had a subtle rich taste and we were told its perfect for cooking or baking with. The second was a 68% Bolivian “Cru Sauvage.” It had hints of vanilla and coffee, and once it hit the back of your pallet, the most wonderful and subtle dried plum. The third and last was the rich and flavorful 74% Dominican “Hacienda Elvesia.” It had the gentle warmth of tobacco mixed with orange and citrus. They were all so amazing it was hard to choose. But of the three we ended up deciding on the the first, the 65% Venezuelan.
The best part of our trip however was sampling the drinking chocolates we had heard so much about. These were not your ordinary mugs of hot cocoa. They were rich, intense blends of artisanal chocolates with hints of spices. There were three types of drinking chocolates; Rovoli Dark, Cinnamon Infused Dark Milk, and the Spicy Dark. The Rovoli is most pleasant for those who don’t enjoy too much intensity. The Cinnamon Infused was a mix of two different percentages of chocolate. But my favorite had to be the Spicy Dark, which had a mix of 72% Ecuadorian dark chocolate, coconut milk, cream and mil, infused with cayenne pepper, ginger, smoked paprika and black tea. It was absolutely amazing. The best part of the experience of drinking was when you swallowed, because that is when you felt the true intensity of the heat as it went down your throat.
Suffice to say, next time we’re around 13th avenue, we’ll be going to Cacao for a treat.