Probably every week, another gifted chocolatier opens his or her door in America. Each crafts lovely products from fine couverture—the large blocks of chocolate that professionals melt down and form into bars and novelty shapes, and use to enrobe (or cover, hence, couverture) nut clusters, fruit centers, praline paste, and everything else in that box of bonbons.
Vere, pronounced “very”—the e has a long accent mark we are unable to create here but we show in the photo below—is a new entrant with a fresh perspective. Their goal is not to focus on artistry, progressions of cacao percentages, or nouvelle flavors, but to produce the healthiest gourmet chocolate. By the book, no gimmicks, they have.
Vere, without the accent, is the Latin word for truly, really, actually, rightly. In this context, Vere the chocolatier is:
Truly different. The only line we know made only with 75% cacao—truly bittersweet, truly elegant.
Really good for you. Vere is the one company that has dedicated itself to a “recipe for health,” combining the highest antioxidant chocolate with fructose, a low glycemic sugar, instead of sucrose, table sugar, with which most chocolate is made. More about this later.
Actually delicious. If you like bittersweet chocolate, you will flip for the purity and quality of these chocolates. If you aren’t yet acclimated to bittersweet, the elegance of these chocolates will enable you to understand it. Start by enjoying a piece with your after-dinner coffee.
Rightly deserving of your attention. This is truly a different take on chocolate, a distinct point of view. Even if it does not end up as your favorite—how many people would choose a Picasso over a Renoir—you’ve got to acknowledge its special excitement and beauty.
About The Chocolates
The line includes:
Bars (solid chocolate): Small (7g/.25 ounce) and Large (35g/1 ounce).
The 35g Chocolate Bars are 75% Arriba
Wafers: Chocolate discs sprinkled with Cacao Nib, Espresso Nib, Tamari Almond, Pink Peppercorn, or Spicy Pepita.
Coming soon are truffles in Cashew, Coconut, Cognac, Cream, Passionfruit, Raspberry, Soy, and Walnut Caramel.
Bars, wafers and clusters are naturally shelf-stable for at least six months without compromising flavor or texture. Truffles and brownies should be consumed within two weeks of manufacture.*
*All chocolate should ideally be stored in a cool (60°F to 65°F), dry (less than 50% humidity), and odor-free environment away from direct heat and sunlight. Chocolate should never be refrigerated because the drastic change in temperature can cause an unaesthetic grey-white “bloom” (that’s the cocoa butter rising to the surface); but wine cellars and coolers are an ideal environment to store chocolate. Be sure to bring the chocolate to room temperature before digging in.
Why Vere is More Healthful
Different cacao bean. Vere uses the Arriba Nacional bean from the Ecuadorian rainforest (they buy the couverture from Plantations, a specialist in Arriba cacao). This unique variety of Forastero bean (some people think Arriba is a fourth species, neither Forastero, Criollo, or Trinitario bean) has a greater natural sweetness than other cacao beans.
Less sugar, lower carbohydrate. As a result of the bean’s natural sweetness, less sugar is needed to sweeten the cacao and bring out the richness of the chocolate.
Low glycemic sugar. Vere chocolate is primarily sweetened with fructose, a natural sugar found in many fruits and vegetables. Unlike table sugar, fructose does not significantly spike blood sugar levels or signal to the body to store fat.
Antioxidants. Vere calls itself “the antioxidant mother lode.” Its 75% cacao bittersweet chocolate contains more than twice the antioxidant levels of semisweet chocolate (e.g., a 50% cacao dark chocolate bar). Antioxidants cleanse the body of free radicals, which have been linked to aging, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and numerous other diseases.
Fiber. A natural, plant-derived fiber is added to the chocolate. It acts as a prebiotic, increasing dietary fiber intake.
Good Fats. The unsaturated fats found in cocoa butter, a natural component of chocolate, are composed of oleic acid, like those in olive oil. They are heart-healthy fats that can raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL). When additional fats are needed, e.g. to make truffles, Vere incorporates healthy fats wherever possible.
Wafer with Pink Peppercorns
Purity. The products are all natural, with no chemical preservatives or artificial ingredients. Wherever possible, organic products are used: e.g., dairy, eggs and nuts.
Who Will Love These Chocolates?
Anyone looking for a healthier, lower carb or lower glycemic chocolate fix.
Gourmets seeking more elegance, less sweetness, a more purity-of-cacao experience.
Chocolate connoisseurs who want to enjoy the distinctive flavors of of Arriba cacao.
Environmentalists who like that the cacao is sustainably grown and responsibly harvested on Rainforest Alliance certified cooperatives,and is pesticide-free.
Better health through chocolate? You’ve read the articles in the news: chocolate is good for you. Even semisweet chocolate with just 50% cacao has far more antioxidants than red wine, green tea, blueberries or broccoli.
But not just any chocolate is “healthy.” Consuming milk chocolate (which is made of more sugar than chocolate) is counter-productive. Verily, the best path to “chocolate health” is high-antioxidant, low-sugar chocolate.
Shipping additional. Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.
Learn More About Chocolate
Chocolate Unwrapped: The Surprising Health Benefits of America's Favorite Passion, by Rowan Jacobsen. Evidence is piling up that chocolate’s antioxidants have a list of health benefits few foods can match. Jacobsen explains the positive physical and psychological effects of chocolate. He explores the colorful history, botany, and chemistry of chocolate, so you’ll understand what to look for and what to avoid. A recipe section provides a multitude of healthy ways to eat chocolate. $10.36. Click here for more information.
The True History of Chocolate, by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe. The history of chocolate from its earliest pre-Columbian roots, its discovery by the Spanish conquistadors, to modern times. Fascinating for any chocolate lover. $12.89. Click here for more information.
Chocolate: The Nature of Indulgence, by Ruth Lopez. Written to accompany an outstanding exhibition at Chicago's Field Museum, with superior color photography. The history of chocolate, the economics and manufacture and traces the rise of chocolate barons such as Cadbury in Britain and Hershey in the U.S.$18.87. Click here for more information.
The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Cacao, by Maricel Presilla. An overview of cocoa plantations and their farming practices and the different strains of true cocoa. Presilla follows the life of a cocoa pod from a sapling through harvest, fermentation, roasting, and production to arrive at what we all recognize as chocolate. About two dozen unusual, interesting recipes follow. $20.47. Click here for more information.
The Science of Chocolate, by S. Beckett. For the true chocolate scholar or general scientific minds who want to know the details of ingredients and processing techniques, scientific principles such as latent and specific heat, Maillard reactions and enzyme processes that create the product we love. A series of experiments is included that can be done by students of any age. $39.95. Click here for more information.
The Science of Sugar Confectionery,
by W.P. Edwards. Learn the various types of sugar confectionery:"sugar glasses" (boiled sweets), "grained sugar products" (fondants), toffees and fudges, "hydrocolloids" (gums, pastilles and jellies) plus sugar-free confectionery. $34.95. Click here for more information
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