Best Local Chocolate Bar - 2011
Poco Dolce's Olive Oil and Sea Salt Bar
By now we're used to chocolate's Heart of Darkness narrative — that it has to travel ever deeper up-jungle into some terra incognita of earthier, bitterer, single-estatier. Poco Dolce isn't afraid to move instead into the flavored realms of old-school chocolatiers like Lindt, but in a way that eschews overt sweetness and opts for modern flavors like Chinese five-spice and chile. Kathy Wiley's olive oil bar, the best of the Dogpatch chocolatier's new line, folds flowery-nosed California extravirgin oil into a 62 percent Guittard blend, spiked with sea-marsh salt from Brittany. Not only does the flavor of the chocolate display its uncanny affinity for buttery-tasting olive oil, but the creaminess the oil works on the chocolate makes this extraordinary.