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Vere Week Interview and Giveaway Part III – Choosing Flavors

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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.

Continue to Part IV

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55 comments on “Vere Week Interview and Giveaway Part III – Choosing Flavors”

  1. Sarasays:

    Yum, sounds sooooo good!

  2. Another awesome thing about the independent chocolate manufacturer–they can initiate change (more bananas?) in a very short period of time, always honing their products based on customer satisfaction and varying results.

  3. Katesays:

    Cayenne sounds like it would be delicious in chocolate!

  4. Choosing flavors, sounds like (taste like) a wonderful talent to have.
    Theresa N

  5. Amandasays:

    mmm… I’d love to try the banana flavored chocolate

  6. It’s great how much a smaller company can respond to individual customer input.

  7. Megansays:

    Chili and chocolate are my favorite chocolate combo. Cayenne and cacaa nibs sound devine!

  8. Traceysays:

    Cayenne and Cocoa sounds delicious!! I love chocolate with some heat.

  9. Ashleysays:

    Okay, I’m officially craving chocolate this morning after reading this. (Not that I ever really stop craving chocolate.) I love the combination of chocolate & spice, so the nibs sound amazing!

  10. toontzsays:

    One of my favorite brownie recipes combines dark chocolate with chipolte pepper. I would definitely buy a chocolate bar with some pepper!

  11. junipiesays:

    Yum! Cayenne and chocolate is always divine… I’m sure the cocao nibs are a great addition.

  12. Karinsays:

    mmmmmm..bananas and chocolate sound very good!

  13. Spicy chocolate – yummmy!

  14. Gracesays:

    yeah…cayenne and cacao nibs sounds amazing.

  15. I recently made a chili chocolate cake and it was one of the first times i’d tried the chocolate chili combo, it’s really awsome.

  16. Jazzsays:

    Yeah, it’s understandably kind of hard to taste the banana when there’s so much chocolate around…fruity flavors are ambitious because a lot of them are so subtle.

    Vere sounds so intriguing, I really want to check out their bars now…

  17. Ambersays:

    Bananas in a chocolate bar???? Sounds heavenly. Maybe I should try these on one of my weekly jaunts to drool over the chocolate isle at Central Market…

  18. Those flavours sound good!

  19. K8says:

    I have really been enjoying this interview. It is amazing the detail and passion for something so simple yet very complex. I am finding inspiring and invigorating.

  20. Sarahsays:

    You are doing some really good PR for Vere Chocolate!!! Look at all the comments! We are all learning about the company while salivating for some of that chocolate!

  21. Chilis & chocolate are always a good combination.

  22. Lorisays:

    The cayenne and cacao sounds intriguing…as does their raspberry and lemon.

  23. Cheshersays:

    I vote for macadamia nuts and candied ginger!

  24. Bebesays:

    The Crunchy Stuff line sounds fun and after reading over the descriptions it sounds really tasty while healthy enough to assuage your guilt over the calories.

  25. Shannonsays:

    This is a very interesting interview. Thank you for sharing. The chocolates not only sound wonderful; they are beautiful.

  26. Katiesays:

    They all sound good!

  27. Verenasays:

    I always find new and exotic flavors in chocolates appealing, but it sure takes a creative brain to come up with these combinations.

    Thank you for yet another insightful interview … the cayenne and cacao nib bar sure sounds tantalizing! :P

  28. Katiesays:

    The cayanne and cocoa nibs bar sounds excellent. Spicy, textured chocolate is the best!

  29. I enjoyed the interview. The Cayenne and Cacao Nibs bar sounds terrific.

  30. holllysays:

    Oh! I can already taste that cayenne and cocoa bar! Sounds delicious! Her describing the cocoa nibs and the heat was just a little cruel since I don’t have one in my hand at the moment.

    I recently went to the movies with a bunch of girlfriends. At the snack bar I was about to buy a small popcorn (for an exorbitant amount) when my friend suggest I get a larger size (at an even more exorbitant price) so I could share with the others. Of course I obliged and then she bought a bag of chocolate candies (hint: with the letter M on each piece). She proceeded to explain that she read somewhere that if you pair sweet and salty you come up with the most sensational tastebud pairing. So we all experimented by having one piece of popcorn at one chocolate candy in the same mouthful and it was a more heavenly experience than you’d imagine!

    So I guess I have to try Pump’d Corn by Vere–I see that they are ahead of my friends and I!

    P.s. Love that they are health conscious!

  31. Man have I been craving good chocolate this week, this blog isn’t helping! haha

  32. KELLYsays:

    Ok, now I am totally craving chocolate!

  33. Melaniesays:

    Now I’m craving chocolate! Very interesting interview and thanks for introducing us to a small gourmet chocolate manufacturer. I love to hear about companies who actually care about quality and listen to the consumer.

  34. leysays:

    I love banana and chocolate together, but sometimes it can get a little “fake” tasting. The chilis and chocolate sounds really good, though! We just decided on wedding cake flavours yesterday and a “Mexican hot chocolate filling” was one of them!

  35. Anonymoussays:

    ok, chocolate sounds great but I’m notsure I love the hot…. would love to try it

  36. Karensays:

    Banana sounds good.
    Cayenne sounds good.
    But anise espresso does not appeal to me at all. But I guess I shouldn’t knock it until I try it!

  37. Lisasays:

    Cayenne and Cacao Nibs sounds wonderful. I love the lingering spice of a chocolate bar with red pepper in it. I also love trying other unusual chocolate flavor combinations. Great series!

  38. katysays:

    I’m enjoying the interview. I’d like to try the cayenne. The only thing that I’ve had that comes close is chili with chocolate chip cookies crushed up with the chili. DH thinks that’s weird.

  39. Lisasays:

    Great information. I love this site.


  40. IGRsays:

    Delicious. I’m looking forward to returning to America and seeking these out.

  41. Megan psays:

    Chocolate sounds delicious right now!
    I’ve never tried banana chocolate, but it sounds amazing.. mmm, Im a chocolate addict. :)
    Cute little packages they come in too!

  42. Brilynnsays:

    More chocolate = More better!

  43. kathysays:

    It’s a talent to know how to layer flavors.

  44. Nicksays:

    Wow, I can’t believe someone else knows about Vere! This is my all time favorite chocolate. I’ve visited the factory in NYC several times, always meeting the friendliest workers there. They’re just as passionate about making and describing their chocolate as I am eating it. It is the smoothest and creamiest dark chocolate I’ve ever eaten. And they only use minimal sugar to sweeten it because it is a naturally sweet bean.

    I’ve had mixed reactions to the banana bar. The first time I had it, I definitely tasted the banana, but since then it’s hard to distinguish it. Still, a great company with an unbeatable product!

  45. Does Vere make a bacon chocolate?

  46. Chucksays:

    The banana bar sounds interesting. Those are two things can never be wrong together.

  47. Mmmnnn…”hot” chocolate sounds so cool!



  48. K.says:

    My personal favorite chocolate bar right now is flavored with vanilla. It is so yummy!! Second up was a chocolate nibs type bar – yummm… I may have to run to the store to get more good chocolate!

  49. Sharonsays:

    Ooh, love spicy chocolate!o

  50. Gilsays:

    As Patrick Henry once said, “Give me chocolate or give me death.”

    I hope you make the right choice.

  51. Lizsays:

    Yummy, these all sound delicious. And banana and chocolate? how can one go wrong.

    All this talk of chocolate makes me want to go out and get some. I would love to be the flavor genius for a chocolate company. Incredible!!!!

  53. Would love to try these chocolates!

  54. The cayenne and cocoa nibs sounds absolutely amazing. I would love to give that a try. I’ve never had anything like anise espresso; sounds like a really interesting flavor combo.

  55. still loving chocolate :)

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