Chocolate Noise Took Over Food Republic's Instagram

A few weeks ago I traipsed around New York City, eating all my favorites and sharing some delicious-looking photos with Food Republic's followers. Here, for your drooling pleasure, are all of those posts, in one spot.

February 12, 2017

Hey, Food Republic! I’m Megan Giller, the food writer and chocolate expert behind Chocolate Noise, and I’m so excited to take over @foodrepublic for the next three days! I’ll be showing you the best places in NYC to find the most delicious chocolate in the world—and I’ll probably eat more than my fair share. First up: chocolate for breakfast. I like to taste chocolate first thing in the morning, when my palate is fresh, before I’ve eaten anything else, especially chocolate from some of my favorite bean-to-bar makers. 

Hey, Food Republic! I’m Megan Giller, the food writer and chocolate expert behind Chocolate Noise, and I’m so excited to take over @foodrepublic for the next three days! I’ll be showing you the best places in NYC to find the most delicious chocolate in the world—and I’ll probably eat more than my fair share. First up: chocolate for breakfast. I like to taste chocolate first thing in the morning, when my palate is fresh, before I’ve eaten anything else, especially chocolate from some of my favorite bean-to-bar makers. 

I pretty much visit Raaka Chocolate's factory once a week. The first thing you see when you walk in the door is their tasting room, with tons of chocolate samples. But the best thing is watching the Cocoatown machines grind and refine cocoa nibs into chocolate. Sometimes they let me taste a spoonful straight out of the machine. This batch is their limited-edition strawberry basil flavor. 

I pretty much visit Raaka Chocolate's factory once a week. The first thing you see when you walk in the door is their tasting room, with tons of chocolate samples. But the best thing is watching the Cocoatown machines grind and refine cocoa nibs into chocolate. Sometimes they let me taste a spoonful straight out of the machine. This batch is their limited-edition strawberry basil flavor. 

Raaka makes bean-to-bar chocolate, which means they start with whole beans and grind and smoothen them into chocolate from scratch. Ten years ago there were only a few people in the country doing this; now there are around 200 American bean-to-bar chocolate makers. My site Chocolate Noise is all about this craft chocolate revolution. Raaka is a little different than most, because they don’t roast their beans; instead they focus on creative infusions rooted in the terroir of cacao (yep, cacao has terroir, like wine!). Here are big bags of beans from Tanzania, which is known for earthy and slightly fruity cacao. 

Raaka makes bean-to-bar chocolate, which means they start with whole beans and grind and smoothen them into chocolate from scratch. Ten years ago there were only a few people in the country doing this; now there are around 200 American bean-to-bar chocolate makers. My site Chocolate Noise is all about this craft chocolate revolution. Raaka is a little different than most, because they don’t roast their beans; instead they focus on creative infusions rooted in the terroir of cacao (yep, cacao has terroir, like wine!). Here are big bags of beans from Tanzania, which is known for earthy and slightly fruity cacao. 

Down the street from @raakachocolate is Cacao Prieto, another bean-to-bar chocolate factory. I love looking at this Victorian-era cocoa bean roaster: It’s enormous and impressive, and even a few hundred years later, it still roasts beans like a champ. And yes, they let me stand on a really tall ladder to get this shot! 

Down the street from @raakachocolate is Cacao Prieto, another bean-to-bar chocolate factory. I love looking at this Victorian-era cocoa bean roaster: It’s enormous and impressive, and even a few hundred years later, it still roasts beans like a champ. And yes, they let me stand on a really tall ladder to get this shot! 

Because I clearly haven’t had enough chocolate today, my last stop is Liddabit Sweets at Industry City. Liddabit makes handmade, locally and ethically sourced versions of the candy bars and desserts you loved as a kid, with their own whimsical twist, using @valrhonausa and @tazachocolate. So many chocolate-covered caramels with sea salt for the taking!

Because I clearly haven’t had enough chocolate today, my last stop is Liddabit Sweets at Industry City. Liddabit makes handmade, locally and ethically sourced versions of the candy bars and desserts you loved as a kid, with their own whimsical twist, using @valrhonausa and @tazachocolate. So many chocolate-covered caramels with sea salt for the taking!

February 13, 2017

Today's breakfast is this triple-chocolate cookie at Untitled at the Whitney, which blows my mind every time. Pastry chef Miro Uskokovic uses @guittardchocolate, an American bean-to-bar brand that’s been around since the late 1800s, and Chef Thomas Keller's gluten-free flour Cup4Cup. 

Today's breakfast is this triple-chocolate cookie at Untitled at the Whitney, which blows my mind every time. Pastry chef Miro Uskokovic uses @guittardchocolate, an American bean-to-bar brand that’s been around since the late 1800s, and Chef Thomas Keller's gluten-free flour Cup4Cup. 

Now I’m off to replenish my chocolate stash at Chelsea Market Baskets, which has an impressive selection of hard-to-find brands. I’m loading up on Ritual Chocolate and Amano Chocolate, two of the best makers in the country. 

Now I’m off to replenish my chocolate stash at Chelsea Market Baskets, which has an impressive selection of hard-to-find brands. I’m loading up on Ritual Chocolate and Amano Chocolate, two of the best makers in the country. 

I teach chocolate-and-cheese-pairing classes at Murray's Cheese from time to time, but today I’m here to grab a few chocolate bars and cheeses to satisfy a personal craving. The two seem like an unlikely combination, but if done right, it can be incredible, creating a mashup experience that transforms two great foods into the sublime. Murray’s is one of the only places in town to buy Pralus’ Infernale bars, a massive chocolate bar filled with praliné (read: the best fancy candy bar in the world), which I’m going to devour later. 

I teach chocolate-and-cheese-pairing classes at Murray's Cheese from time to time, but today I’m here to grab a few chocolate bars and cheeses to satisfy a personal craving. The two seem like an unlikely combination, but if done right, it can be incredible, creating a mashup experience that transforms two great foods into the sublime. Murray’s is one of the only places in town to buy Pralus’ Infernale bars, a massive chocolate bar filled with praliné (read: the best fancy candy bar in the world), which I’m going to devour later. 

Detour! I was headed home with all sorts of goodies for a late lunch, but Murray's is so close to Grom Gelato that I had to stop. Their chocolate gelato is extra rich and delicious because it’s made with Domori Chocolate, from Italy. On top of my hazelnut and pistachio, check out the single-origin Peruvian chocolate in all of its glory. 

Detour! I was headed home with all sorts of goodies for a late lunch, but Murray's is so close to Grom Gelato that I had to stop. Their chocolate gelato is extra rich and delicious because it’s made with Domori Chocolate, from Italy. On top of my hazelnut and pistachio, check out the single-origin Peruvian chocolate in all of its glory. 

Feast time! It’s all about the combinations, which I discovered while doing extensive research for my book (poor me, right?). I’m pairing Fruition Chocolate's dark milk chocolate with sea salt with Challerhocker cheese and that Pralus Infernale bar I mentioned earlier with Point Reyes Cheese's Original Blue. Both chocolates also pair well with this Nepalese oolong tea from Serendipitea. I threw in a baguette to pair with some single-origin Madagascar chocolate from Patric too, because why not? The fruitiness of the Madagascar chocolate with the buttery nuttiness of the baguette makes it taste like a fantastic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Feast time! It’s all about the combinations, which I discovered while doing extensive research for my book (poor me, right?). I’m pairing Fruition Chocolate's dark milk chocolate with sea salt with Challerhocker cheese and that Pralus Infernale bar I mentioned earlier with Point Reyes Cheese's Original Blue. Both chocolates also pair well with this Nepalese oolong tea from Serendipitea. I threw in a baguette to pair with some single-origin Madagascar chocolate from Patric too, because why not? The fruitiness of the Madagascar chocolate with the buttery nuttiness of the baguette makes it taste like a fantastic peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

February 14, 2017

I have a meeting this morning at French bean-to-bar maker Valrhona’s Brooklyn offices. Fortunately for me, they always have plenty of chocolatey treats: This morning the chef is making heart-shaped raspberry and white chocolate macarons. In other words, breakfast! There’s not a storefront here, but L’Ecole Valrhona offers professional classes in its huge onsite kitchen, with superstar chefs like Ginger Elizabeth bakery and Lincoln Carson. 

I have a meeting this morning at French bean-to-bar maker Valrhona’s Brooklyn offices. Fortunately for me, they always have plenty of chocolatey treats: This morning the chef is making heart-shaped raspberry and white chocolate macarons. In other words, breakfast! There’s not a storefront here, but L’Ecole Valrhona offers professional classes in its huge onsite kitchen, with superstar chefs like Ginger Elizabeth bakery and Lincoln Carson. 

Now I’m off to learn more tricks of the trade from Michael Laiskonis, who runs the Institute of Culinary Education’s bean-to-bar chocolate lab. You’ll find him making chocolate from scratch pretty much all day and all night here, with plenty of samples to taste. All pastry students have to learn how to make chocolate as part of their program, and ICE offers classes for us mere laymen too. Here’s Michael pouring a freshly made batch onto marble to demonstrate tempering by hand.

After learning so much about how to make chocolate, I’m ready to ingest more of it, this time in liquid form. LA Burdick makes my favorite drinking chocolate in town, a rich, creamy concoction that doesn’t bear any resemblance to hot cocoa. I’m a sucker for single origin, like this cup of melted Venezuela. Also lots and lots of hand-dipped truffles, out of focus but delicious!

After learning so much about how to make chocolate, I’m ready to ingest more of it, this time in liquid form. LA Burdick makes my favorite drinking chocolate in town, a rich, creamy concoction that doesn’t bear any resemblance to hot cocoa. I’m a sucker for single origin, like this cup of melted Venezuela. Also lots and lots of hand-dipped truffles, out of focus but delicious!

I have a hard time not going to Stick With Me Sweets every day. Usually I live by the rule that the prettiest desserts taste the worst, and vice versa, but Susanna Yoon’s work is stunning and scrumptious. No surprise that she uses Valrhona. Liquid salted caramel pouring onto marble, get in my mouth.

I have a hard time not going to Stick With Me Sweets every day. Usually I live by the rule that the prettiest desserts taste the worst, and vice versa, but Susanna Yoon’s work is stunning and scrumptious. No surprise that she uses Valrhona. Liquid salted caramel pouring onto marble, get in my mouth.

Back at home, I’m making my husband’s favorite dessert for Valentine’s Day: chocolate-covered Rice Krispie Treats. Except I’m using Fruition marshmallows and Guittard chocolate. Want to lick the bowl?

Thanks, Food Republic, for letting me hang out with y’all as I ate my weight in chocolate over the past few days! It’s one of the dangers of the job, as you can see from the wine fridge I’ve turned into a chocolate fridge to the right of my desk. Now I better get back to editing the first pages of my book about American bean-to-bar chocolate (coming out in August)! 

Thanks, Food Republic, for letting me hang out with y’all as I ate my weight in chocolate over the past few days! It’s one of the dangers of the job, as you can see from the wine fridge I’ve turned into a chocolate fridge to the right of my desk. Now I better get back to editing the first pages of my book about American bean-to-bar chocolate (coming out in August)! 


Did I leave out one of your favorite places in NYC? Tell me at megan@chocolatenoise.com or on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, and I'll include your comments in the next Chocolate Today!