Did you know that you eat with your eyes first? Artisan chocolates are designed for savoring slowly. Take your time to inspect the shape and the design before the chocolate is eaten. Usually the design is relative to the flavors you are about to experience. Relax and savor all the flavors and perfumes the truffle has to offer.
The flavors and designs are a result of us standing in the kitchen talking about how we want our creations to taste and look and how we want you to experience the layers of flavor these chocolates have to offer. This shop is an extension of our hearts and home. We hope you feel like part of our family and very welcomed in the shop and on the website.
We try to use as many local ingredients and fresh ingredients as we can. Our cream does not have preservatives. It is not ultra-pasteurized, and it has real vitamins in it. We like to use different and unique flavors in our creations. You will find things like lavender, lemon grass, goat cheese, and different teas as well as some herbs, like pink pepper and rosemary. Most of our peppers and fruits come from local farms near the shop. We get honey from local beekeepers. Watch for us shopping at the farmer’s market right near our shop.
The Journey of our Chocolate
Twenty degrees north and south of the equator is the only place that cacao plants will grow. How amazing is that? We get this gift of tasty goodness that melts exquisitely in our mouths from the hottest area on the planet. Chocolate, or the cacao pods, that contain the beans are still harvested by hand. Since the pods do not ripen at the same time they must be harvested by hand. Machines are too harsh and can pose loss to the pods that are not ripe. Once the pod has been harvested it is then split open by hand. The inside contains the cacao beans and a white pulp. These are scooped out and the pod is discarded. The next step for the beans is fermentation which can take anywhere from 2 to 8 days. Then the beans enter a drying process, which lasts only a few days.
Our chocolate comes from small family run farms in South America. There is a research and development facility to assist the cacao farmers with whatever they need. There is no use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers on our chocolate. This chocolate comes from the southwest area of Columbia near the Pacific Ocean. Did you know chocolate is like wine? The region, climate, and conditions all reflect the distinctive flavors in the chocolate once it is produced. It would take about 500 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate. In a good year and under the best circumstances, one tree would produce about 2 pounds of chocolate. Savor the flavor it brings to you. Cacao, which is pronounced, “ka-kow,” refers to the tree, the pod, and the beans. Cocoa, which is pronounced, “koh-koh,” refers to the products of powder and butter after production. So when you see that your cacao has a percentage, this is how it formulates: the higher the cacao percent, the less sugar and the stronger the chocolate taste. It was originally discovered around 1200 B.C. in Central and South America as well as near the Amazon region. The pulp of the pod was originally the only part eaten, first by monkeys then by man. The seeds were left on the ground thus repopulating the plant. (Glad the seeds repopulated, aren’t you?)
Chocolatier: Kathleen Sokolovic
Kathleen is originally from Johnstown, NY earned an Associates of Applied Science in the Culinary Arts from Stratford University in Falls Church, VA in August 2000. She worked in the Food and Nutrition Department of Providence Hospital in Washington, DC before leaving in 2002 to raise a family. She enjoys cooking and creating new dishes all the time. She is a runner and is working on getting her Black Belt. She has worked at Lune Chocolat since February 2015 and lives in Manlius, NY with her husband and two boys, and a silly cat.
Associate Chocolatier: Amanda Bowman
Amanda has worked for Lune for three years now and loves every minute of it. Amanda still has to have a real job and works as an athletic trainer at a local high school. In her free time she loves knitting, reading books, and traveling. Her favorite chocolates are the peppermint latte, root beer float, and vino-saltamel. Amanda resides in Syracuse.
Kitchen & Sales Associate: Fareya Zubair
Fareya is a graduate of SUNY-ESF, for Biotechnology. Her favorite animal is a penguin and she loves to read. After college, she wants to pursue a career in the health field and specifically research mental illnesses that stem from empathy-deficit disorders. Fareya loves being part of the Lune Family!!