Sunday, April 14, 2013

Alma Chocolate

Alma Chocolate is located on NE 28th Ave. (a couple blocks north of E Burnside) in Portland, Oregon. After Nick and Carina of The Cheese Plate food cart mentioned this place on their Facebook fan page, I took a visit down to this small brick-and-mortar shop at the end of March.

Sarah Hart opened Alma Chocolate in 2004, yearning to make and sell the best chocolate possible. She got her start at one of the local farmer's markets. After much success and rave reviews, a storefront came a year later. Sarah named the store after her grandmother, Alma Hart.

Fun fact: "Alma" means "soul" in Spanish and "to nourish" in Latin.

(as of March 2013)
When the sweet tooth kicks in, I'm still naturally gonna look for the spiciest options. And even if it won't burn my face off, I'll still enjoy it anyway if it's high-quality stuff. All the chocolates in the display case are $2.25 apiece. I ordered three chocolates, and the friendly server at the counter put them in a petite box that probably could hold small jewelry.

I started with the Thai Peanut Butter Cup, a "layer of peanut butter, milk chocolate, ginger, lime, and a fantastical (satay) sauce!" Peanut butter and chocolate should be filed under the auto-win category. A nice refreshing use of the ginger and lime. Very mild chile effect here, if any.

"Thai Peanut Butter Cup"

Next was the Mexican Truffle, "61% dark chocolate center infused with chile and cinnamon, rolled in cocoa powder and chile." A bit messy here, as the cocoa powder will cling to anything. Another fine dark chocolate, with some bitterness as well. Another chocolate confection with very mild to no chile kick.

"Mexican Truffle"

Finally, the Habanero Caramel Crowns: a "soft, buttery caramel center with a kick of heat at the finish!" Perfect execution on the caramel. I detected the habanero flavor, but again, very mild. I'll assume it's one of their most popular items; I managed to snag the last one in the case that day.

"Habanero Caramel Crown"
Look at that perfect caramel!
All three chocolates were very good. I enjoyed the habnaero caramel so much, I also bought a jar of it ($8) to take home with me. You bet it found a nice spot in my stomach.

Alma Chocolates also sells their original signature Lavender Caramel Sauce and some wine-soaked figs!

While none of the "spiciest" chocolates there left a hole in my stomach. I'll consider that a good thing, although the crazy thrill-seeker in me would probably keep wishing for something spicier. Yup, I'm just a little unstable....

I look forward to returning. I'd certainly like to try some of the drinks next time -- and more chocolate! 8.5/10

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