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Flor De Maria: The Beauty of Single Origin Latin American chocolate

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Does it ever seem like life is so busy that you can’t get everything on your list done? Sometimes it is hard to simply sit and savor each moment.

That’s one of the great things about craft chocolate. To experience the diverse pronounced and subtle nuances that each bar has to offer requires taking the time to eat chocolate “mindfully,” meaning to allow all of our senses and our emotions to be used to fully experience the chocolate.

Thanks to Flor De Maria’s creator, William Zitser, I received a box with three bars in his product line to sample. I had the opportunity to get all of my senses and emotions involved in the tasting process and found a multitude of reasons for enjoying Flor De Maria’s chocolate line up.

"We cherry pick each ingredient that goes into our bars.
From the delicious deep, spicy nut flavors of Venezuelan cacao, to the bright fruity taste of the chocolate from Ecuador, Flor de María is tastefully made with some of the best cacao in the world. Infused with hand cultivated, New York grown, full-spectrum artisanal hemp flower extract, and produced with the most delicious and responsibly sourced ingredients we can find, from the hottest peppers to the best finishing salt in the United States.”

Please note that this chocolate has CBD. Although it does not have any mind altering properties, please consult with your healthcare provider if you have questions regarding its impact/benefits on your health.

To eat chocolate mindfully we need to start with what we see - looking at the outer wrapper. Flor De Maria’s bars are housed in a beautiful blue box with bronze rose gold inscription. Your eyes are drawn to the image of a Saint standing on a theobroma cacao flower and a cacao pod crown. It is absolutely stunning artwork that is intriguing and builds a sense of anticipation for what is stored within.

Upon opening the box, your eyes are treated to a sealed bronze rose gold package with the Saint’s picture - as though she serves as a guard to the treasure that lies within. The degree of expectancy grows! Then as you open the packaging your olfactory senses are hit with an inviting earthy vegetal cocoa aroma.

Let’s start with Flor De Maria’s Limited Edition - 75% - Usulután, El Salvador bar. This was my first introduction to cacao from El Salvador and let me tell you, I was beyond pleasantly surprised. I savored the prominent earthy fudge notes that coated my mouth. These lightly roasted beans imparted a wealth of richness on the palate. I thoroughly enjoyed how long this delicious coating lingered in my mouth. This limited edition bar is one you need to get your hands on while it’s still available.

The second bar I sampled was Flor De Maria’s 70% Dark Chocolate made with Trinitario/Criollo hybrid cacao from Barlovento, Venezuela. It was another delectable example of what can be created from Venezuelan cacao. The most distinctive difference between this and the Limited Edition bar was a sharp earthy acidity peak that dissipated as it transitioned into a mild nutty cocoa finish.

I’m a big fan of spicy foods and think that chocolate and pepper make for a fantastic combination. I’ve had ghost pepper in small quantities in the past and thoroughly enjoyed it. So Flor De Maria’s Ghost Pepper Caramel bar sounded quite intriguing. Admittedly, however, I was both excited and a little apprehensive at the same time. Would I be able to tolerate the heat factor from this bar?

When I allowed the chocolate square to melt on my tongue the first thing that my senses experienced was the yum factor of smooth well balanced cocoa. Next came a very mild dose of ghost pepper. I felt a mild tingle on my tongue and tickling of the back of my throat. It wasn’t jarring or overwhelming. Rather, the heat factor came on ever so gently and didn’t overpower the other wonderful flavors that were being revealed. That leads me to mention the additional surprise of the caramel being delivered in the form of tiny crystals that added texture and a bit of sweetness. All the elements came together in perfect harmony!

I was taken on an amazing Latin American gustatory adventure through these three distinctive chocolates from Flor De Maria. Thanks for the Latin American adventure, William! You may not be able to see it, but each of my individual taste buds is smiling. Let your taste buds have the same experience by savoring chocolate from Flor De Maria.

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