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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
505-982-0388
www.kakawachocolates.com

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