I like my women like I like my chocolate: Fine & Raw.
On a recent sojourn deeper into Williamsburg, I stumbled upon a little chocolate shop called Fine & Raw. Though it’s more than a simple storefront. They actually make the organic chocolate bars right there – and by hand, not like some semi-automated Jacques Torres production kitchen.
The owner welcomed me as soon as I walked in the door. Of course, I had no idea he was the owner at the time. In fact, when two chocolate bars were missing from the display case, I suggested to the exceptionally pleasant sales lady that the dude with the bike might have swiped them. Yes, the dude with the bike was the owner (and may have still swiped them).
But, after a good chat with her about chocolates, I ended up buying a trio of their bonbon bars. And you could tell that these things were really handmade. Nice and thick, roughly rectangular creations wrapped in foil and a recycled paper wrapper.
I started with the Cacao & Coconut Chunky bar, which, as she explained, was made with coconut butter. It was like a Mounds bar but slightly more bitter. Definitely richer, and chocolaty-er, though you could really taste the coconut. By the time I got home to devour it, a good seven hours later, the surface appeared to have a wet sheen over it, as if the poor thing were sweating. But that must have been the coconut butter, which made it the most buttery of the three bars I had. After a night napping in my fridge, the sweat was gone and this bar tasted even better.
Next up was the Almond Chunky bar. This was the biggest of the trio, and had the hardest chocolate shell. Similar to its coconutty cousin, this one was made with almond butter instead of actual almonds. Yet it tasted like a chocolate bar with almonds in it…amazing.
Finally, I tried the Truffle Chunky bar. It was a difficult decision, but I think this was my favorite. Its consistency was in-between the other two. The best way to describe it is like chocolate-covered fudge…only amazing chocolate covered fudge. It’s as if you ate a piece of incredible chocolate and the flavor exploded in your mouth, rendering every tastebud instantly chocolatized.
Like all gourmet chocolate, this stuff is expensive. These bars cost $7 each and weigh around 42 grams. But they are oh-so-worth it. And I could go on about the quality of these things, but have a look at their Web site if you don’t believe me. Not only does the company have sensibilities similar to our own site, but they also offer some interesting chocolate facts. For example, did you know that monkeys (nipple monkeys?) were the first to enjoy the pleasures of chocolate, even before humans “discovered” it?
Fine & Raw is located on Seigel Street, between Bogart and White. It’s steps from the Morgan Avenue subway stop on the L line, and just a block from Roberta’s Pizza. They are also available at Dean & Deluca and other select shops and cafes around the city. Seek and enjoy!