Issue 38: Hot Chocolate in Seattle
Good morning Seattle!
I’m a bit behind sharing some of my chocolate filled trips with you. The problem is that I drink too many hot chocolates on trips like this … it just takes a long time to write them all up (especially because chocolate is only 50% of my day job…the better 50% obviously). Let’s deal with Seattle first and then I can get you all back to Paris and to Spain (remember that!! I haven’t finished telling you about that trip either!!). These are good problems to have…I’ll take these problems any day.
So, imagine you are in Seattle. You teleported there, so no jet lag, and you have a magic card (because who uses cash…) that will buy you all the chocolate and food you want. Not sure where to start? Read on for answers.
A Hot Chocolate at Maiz Maiz
Maiz Maiz in Pike Place Market serves champurrado, a chocolate based atole (a drink made from corn) that is typical in Mexico. And they do it so well. Maiz Maiz is one of my new favourite places because of how they highlight dozens of different varieties of corn on their menu. There are hundreds of corns in the world…yet we talk about corn in the singular…like we do with many other fruits and vegetables we eat. Here corn is celebrated…and it is delicious!
A Hot Chocolate at Frans Chocolate
Frans Chocolate is an institution in Seattle (and beyond). Making chocolates since 1970 (using a special blend of Valhrona chocolate), they also make a beautiful hot chocolate using 68% Dominican Republic dark chocolate (fair-trade and organic). You can get it to take away from their shop either as a shot or with added milk and, of course, a dollop of whipped cream.
A Hot Chocolate at Seleuss
You need to ring the doorbell and wait for someone to let you in. Don't worry, they will. But for that brief moment before they open the door, we must all look like little kids with our noses pressed up against the glass window, drool starting to form at the corner of our mouths as we look at the spread of chocolate delights. There are enough bottles of liquor displayed on the walls to turn this into a neighbourhood cocktail bar, but that would be a waste because they all find their way into his chocolates. The hot chocolate is generous both in the amount of chocolate in it and the size!
A Hot Chocolate at Indi Chocolate
Amazing bean to bar (and more) chocolate maker based in Pike Place Market. At her factory/cafe, you can see how Erin Andrews turns beans sourced directly from farmers around the world, into really good chocolate, and hot chocolate. She also serves a wide range of other chocolate products, from mole sauce to chocolate spirit infusion kits. Its like a superior version of Willy Wonka.
A Hot Chocolate at Rey Amargo
This cafe has dozens of different hot chocolates available, all made using cacao sourced from the Tabasco region of Mexico. I went a little crazy and ordered two hot chocolates (yes, for myself), the Xocolatl with various spices and a Pumpkin spice beause that seemed to be all the rage in the US (when in Seattle…). They were both very sweet like syrup and I wished the chocolate, which I suspect is quite good, was showcased more. Still, I’m a fan of any cafe that serves pretty much only hot chocolate!
I also got to taste this pretty amazing hot chocolate made with Felchlin chocolate BY Felchlin people. They don’t look like the little workers in Willy Wonka…but still did magic with this hot chocolate made with Maracaibo 65%, topped with softly whipped cream, caramel fleur de sel (aka fancy salt), chocolate shavings and Tahitian Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Yes, it was incredible.
There are three more chocolate shops you should visit that are all bean to bar. Although I know there are many more, these are the ones I visited (none had hot chocolates, but still, I won’t judge). The first is Theo Chocolates. Established in 2005, this bean to bar maker offers tours and tastings at its factory/headquarters in Seattle. Second is Seattle Chocolate which also offers a tour. Third is a new arrival on the scene, Spinnaker.
Obviously, you will need to eat a little food in between all of these hot chocolates. Pike Place Market will provide all the food you need. A few favourites include Pike Place Chowder (a must), the Mac n Cheese at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and Piroshky Piroshky for piroshki (obviously).
If you get to Pike Place Market and you decide to skip the food and get more chocolate, stop at DeLaurenti Food & Wine, one of the biggest spreads of bean to bar craft chocolates from around the world. This is like the academy awards of chocolate. Tap into that savings account and see how many you can take home with you (thank me later…or better yet, invite me over to help you finish them). I’d start with everything on the fourth row personally…but I’m not fussed.
And if you, like me, have to buy a present for the kids, stop at Robot vs Sloth and buy either the stuffed sloth animals or the bats with undies (hidden under his wings). And no, that wasn’t my plane unfortunately, I had to wait at the airport for 8 hours because of a change in schedules…not mine obviously. Luckily these two kept me company.
I’ve run out of room for today, so hot chocolate news will have to wait, but will be back soon. Thanks for reading and see you next week!
Chief Chocolate Sipper at www.ultimatehotchocolate.com. Follow on Instagram @ultimatehotchoc
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