Photos By Amber Breitenberg, Words By Marissa Rubenstein
Like any good human, I love chocolate, the darker the better. I tend to judge people who prefer milk chocolate as probably being very milquetoast in all aspects of their lives. Which is why my emotional state prior to my tour of D.C.’s first craft chocolate bar factory, Undone Chocolate, ran the gamut from excited to possibly slightly hysterical.
I also had no idea what to expect from a chocolate factory tour, well okay, despite the fact that in my head it OF COURSE looked exactly like the one from Willy Wonka (either version, I’m not picky).
Rolling up in a Lyft to Undone’s fortress of chocolate (they’re located in Union Kitchen’s Ivy City outpost) it became abundantly clear that Wonka this was not. But it ended up being nearly as interesting, if slightly less colorful.
More Walter White than Willy Wonka, Undone Chocolate founder Adam Kavalier is a former scientist who began experimenting with making chocolate in his spare time, which led to him deciding to pursue his passion and begin making chocolate.
Craft bean to bar chocolate can be pretty boring. I’m a huge fan of dark chocolate, but can I really tell apart one craft chocolate bar from another? Kavalier and his staff of chocolate makers take the normal craft dark chocolate bar and turn it on its head.
Undone’s chocolate is made from direct trade cacao beans. No, I didn’t type that wrong, direct trade is even fairer than fair trade. Since the beans are sourced directly from producers in Southern and Central America, direct trade’s impact is thought to be better for the local economy.
That same level of thoughtfulness goes into their chocolate bars (which are also certified organic and vegan, because why not?). Undone is currently stirring up three bars, all with 72% dark cacao. The first one we tried was a simpler bar sprinkled with Himalayan sea salt, which delivers a delicious sweet and salty crunch. Next came their spicy bar (chili and chocolate is clearly having a moment)- with chili and cardamom, the chocolate burns real nice and slow. They saved the best for last, a bar studded with sea salt and roasted almonds. I usually hate nuts in my chocolate, but this chocolate bar was just too good to spend too much time doing anything but wolfing it down.
Undone Chocolate is available at local markets all over the city. On Thursday, March 31 from 4 to 10 p.m. they’ll be having a beer and chocolate pairing at Port City Brewery. The event is free and there’s even rumors of a possible exclusive chocolate influenced cask that might be ready for tasting that evening. More info here.