Potomac Chocolate is a small bean to bar chocolate company located in Woodbridge, Virginia, just outside Washington DC.
Founded by Ben Rasmussen in 2010, Potomac is a very small artisan operation, run out of Ben’s basement. But an Academy of Chocolate award and a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund new equipment mean that Potomac is a name you’re bound to be hearing more of.
This 70% bar with cocoa nibs and salt was sent to me by Lee from Chocolatiers, although according to Ben’s blog, it’s soon to be discontinued in favour of separate nib and salt bars. If you want to try this chocolate, you’ll have to move quickly.
I want to start with a word about the packaging. I’m a little conflicted about it.
I tend to love, simple, classic chocolate packaging. Bars wrapped in foil and paper are much more appealing to me than those wrapped in plastic, or even card boxes. But the wrapping here is just a little too simple for my tastes. I’m sure that’s partly down to the resources of a small artisan chocolate maker, and partly a deliberate decision to keep things as simple as possible, but with chocolate this good, I find myself wishing the wrapper sold it a little better.
Even when unwrapped, it’s a very simple looking bar – at least until you turn it over. The underside is studded with a generous helping of cocoa nibs and some small salt crystals.
The flavour is wonderful. Deep, rich and fruity. As the chocolate melts, it seems to become sweeter as the more gentle caramel notes come through. Those naturally sweet notes contrast nicely with the slightly bitter nibs and the whole thing is lifted by the addition of a little salt. With the random nib & salt placement, every piece is subtly different but equally good.
I love this bar. In fact, by the time I got around to writing about it, I only had one small chunk left. It’s the kind of chocolate that can disappear very quickly.
It’s interesting that Ben has opted to go for separate nibs & salt bars in future, as I think they work very well together in the same bar. But I know I’d love to try the salt-only version – for me, the simple flavour enhancement that the salt gives is probably all this chocolate needs. But you should probably try the whole range and decide for yourself.