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March 25, 2013

Kakawa Chocolate House

by Anne Paddock

On a local street that winds around the historic district of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a small chocolate store called the Kakawa Chocolate House – an ode to all things chocolate and Santa Fe. Well known in warm drink circles as the place to go for hot chocolate, the store serves a variety of this rich intense elixir made from recipes that date back hundreds of years.Equally famous for their chocolates – truffles, caramels, mediants, and Chili d’Arbols, Kakawa is also known as an artisanal chocolate source where the chocolatiers make their own blend of 80% dark chocolate. Nary a milk chocolate in site, which is how the artisans dedicated to balancing tradition with cutting edge want it.

DSC_0229Kakawa makes a very unusual and delicious chocolate treat called the Chili d’Arbol – a whole roasted chili topped with agave caramel and then dipped in 80% dark chocolate. Spicy, sweet, and slightly chewy and oh so delicious, I store these chocolates in the refrigerator, take them out for about ten minutes, and devour them slightly chilled. The slight coolness minimizes the hotness as these chocolates pack a punch and are not for the faint of heart. Fans of chili, caramel, and dark chocolate have been known to rejoice and grin with joy when consuming a Chili d’Arbol.

Chili d’Arbols are made fresh every few days at Kakawa but if you can’t make it to the store, the chocolates can be ordered on-line through the company website. At $50 a pound, there are about 75-80 pieces per pound – quite a bit of chocolate so don’t hesitate to order a 1/4 pound which has about 18 pieces because the chocolates don’t have preservatives and consequently have a shelf life of a few weeks. Although chocolate connoisseurs advise storing chocolate at 60-65 degree temperatures for the ultimate taste experience, keeping the chocolates in the refrigerator does extend the shelf life.

Kakawa Chocolate House
1050 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, New Mexico  87501

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