Click here for Part 6.
At only three years old, Eldora Chocolate is a fairly new addition to Albuquerque. Steve and Andrea Prickett are committed to healthy and organic ingredients as well as fair trade practices, so there is a good foundation to the bean to bar company. You will find their shop behind a black metal sign on a rustic street. The storefront has that farm shop look with its white trim and wood beams.
The farm touches continue on the inside decor, though you will also find a quite elegant cacao bean wallpaper. I wouldn't mind having some of that wallpaper myself. The shop is set up so that you can see into the production space. You can see machinery going on one side and the employees making chocolate products in the space behind the front counter.
On the menu in front of that lovely wallpaper, you'll find drinking chocolate and coffee, as well as prices for the chocolate bars, truffles, energy bars, and creamers. The front case of course displays truffles, and there are also notes about ice cream and a French milkshake.
Wander to the right for more shopping to find a beautiful display of body butter, lip balm, and soap. It's only so often that one comes across chocolate body care products that are made with cocoa instead of artificial chocolate. So this would already be an exciting find. Add the fact that heart soaps are gorgeous, and I was briefly a bit overwhelmed by my delight.
Since I wasn't getting a cup of drinking chocolate at the time, maybe I ought to have brought home a bag of it. The Chai especially would have been nice to try. But there were so many chocolate bars for me to have to narrow down. I ended up with one flavored and three single origin. There was a variety of flavors, though, as well as some more unique origins in addition to the more common ones.
I also appreciate the display of faux cocoa pods. You can have real, dry pods--but the faux ones captured the vibrant colors in pictures of freshly picked pods. And in any case, while I may have my own cocoa pod at home, most people have never seen one at all. Glass jars of cocoa beans beside the pods help complete the picture of what chocolate is as being made from fruit seeds. Because of the very casual, farm home/shop style of the decor, these elements of chocolate education are approachable rather than lofty.
Speaking of approachable, while in the shop, we were offered a spoonful of chocolate straight out of the conching machine. While it might just look like a spoon of melted chocolate, I was thrilled to get a firsthand taste of the chocolate making process.
I only got one truffle, the Lavender of course. It's made with lavender from Los Poblanos, which as I've already mentioned is unbeatably fresh and fragrant lavender. It is then easy to say that this is probably the best lavender truffle I've ever had.
I walked away from Eldora Chocolate in quite a state of excitement despite having barely tasted any of their chocolate at that point. In the coming days, I'll be putting up my reviews of the four chocolate bars as well as the body care products.