This post is part of a 5 part series on Vere chocolate. To get the most out of this series, start on Part I.
Part III: Choosing Flavors
How do you come up with your flavors? Where do you get your inspiration?
I have a really great chocolatier, Erika Erskine. She’s really amazing. She’s young, maybe 23, but she studied at La Cordon Bleu in London so she’s classically trained. But, because she’s young, she’s really open and interested in health. She’s up on all the latest stuff and she happens to have a really good talent for flavor combinations. She knows how to layer flavors so you get one flavor, then the other. She’s really responsible for the flavor profiles.
I’ll come up with an idea like Crunchy Stuff. My idea was to make this crunchy stuff like a snack food but with chocolate that has healthy ingredients and that’s delicious. I’ll give her a concept and she’ll work it out. She’ll solve a problem.
I’ll come up with some of the ideas for some of the bars. I think the anise espresso was mine, but she’s really the flavor genius. I am more a concept person and do the groundwork, but really in terms of the product itself, she’s really vere, vere talented.
Are you working on anything new?
Just these 70% bars. [Note: In Part I, Kathy talks about how they now only have 75% bars.]
I think I sent you some of the little 10 gram chocolate boxes. [Note: She did. I wrote about the 10 gram vere chocolates here.] I might rework some of the packaging on that. They are really cute and great but it is so hard for the people to make them and package them. [I would like to] find a way that I can deliver them where they won’t get broken, etc. or do less packaging on them because I love that little format. I always like to put a couple in my pocket. When I want something, I just break one of those open.
In the banana bar, I was disappointed that I couldn’t taste the banana.
It may be one of those things where the banana quickly takes on the chocolate flavor. There is a little crunchiness in the banana bar. It’s not like nuts. It’s kinda like the crunchiness of halava, but it might be one of those things where the chocolate just kind of overwhelms the banana flavor. We might have to put more bananas in the next batch!
What’s your favorite flavor?
My favorite bar of the bars we make is the cayenne and cacao nibs. What I love with that one is that I’ll put it in my mouth and I’ll let it start to melt. I get the lusciousness of the chocolate itself and it’s smooth and creamy. Then, I start to get some heat. As its melts more, the little cacao nibs get exposed and so I feel that texture – another thing I love is texture that has to do with ingredients. Then, I’ll bite on the nibs which are kinda fruity. That bar has all the qualities I love.