stunning, delicious chocolate from Claudio Corallo
Last weekend, I was walking by the Whole Foods in S. Lake Union when I noticed a little store filled with customers crowded around a small glass-topped counter. Upon closer inspection, I realized this was the new location of Claudio Corallo chocolates, formerly located in Ballard.)The store is small and non-descript, managed by a petite, well-dressed lady by the name of Marie-Francoise Barnhart. I chatted with her for a bit, and purchased a 80% chocolate bar, grainy with crystallized sugar, and tasted the rest of the line--including chocolate-covered coffee beans, a 70% bar with raisins, and a few pastries made for them by Le Gourmand. (Currently, they have cake-like brownies, and chocolate macaroons. I confess I'm more a fan of the chocolate on its own, but you might like to pick up a box of these sweets for your favorite chocolate lover.)
Barnhart met famed chocolatier Claudio Corallo in Florence, Italy about fifteen years ago, and they've been friends ever since. Her favorite bars from the line are the 100% bar (rather smooth, and less bitter than you'd expect from a bar with such a high percentage), and the 73.5% bar flecked with crunchy cocoa nibs. She hopes that Corallo will pay them a visit early next year--he's never been to the US. She describes her friend as "rather eccentric, crazy, passionate, committed and that's only the beginning....! He has a sense of humor as well, and even follows the monkeys around to see what cacao they are eating, as he believes the monkeys really know where to find the best beans."
Check out Claudio Corallo at 2122 Westlake Ave. 206.859.3534