When Peter Kelsey, founder of the New French Bakery began his line of chocolate and energy bars a year ago, I was among the skeptics. When I see chocolate, I think “Yay!” When I see maca and guarana, I think, “Oh.”
But then I tasted these bars. I was an instant convert. They're designed to be an energy bar that actually tastes good, and is actually good for you, too (because not all of them are, no matter what you try to tell yourself). Very cool, indeed.
K’ul maintains that chocolate is not candy. Chocolate is food, and the health benefits are well established, as long as you don’t add too much sugar. So, even though you can eat K’ul as an energy bar, and you should, Kelsey had many clients that just wanted to eat it as a candy bar.
“People kept saying, your chocolate is so good. Can’t you make some without all of this weird stuff in it?”
And so he did.
The new line of Single Origin 70 percent dark chocolate bars are the “sweet spot” designed to hit all the right notes for both candy-like appeal, and the appeasement of serious chocolate aficionados.
Kelsey had a bunch of beans that he purchased from individual farms or co-ops that he visited around the world, and they made for the perfect line of highly nuanced chocolate bars. The Haitian bar is acidic and spicy, the Brazilian is sweet with no bitterness, and so on.
Chocolate can quickly get esoteric like coffee, cheese, and wine, and the best thing to do is just go and taste. The showroom in Seward is a great way to do it. You can get a customized bar made before your eyes while you wait, you can chat them up about what things like fair trade, co-ops, and chocolate percentages all mean, or you can just eat chocolate, which is what this new line is all about. It's chocolate for candy eaters, without all the guilt.
The Single Origin line will be available everywhere by the holidays, and at Lunds & Byerlys stores by October. Also watch for them at a supermarket or co-op near you in the coming weeks.
Kelsey is also tinkering with a milk chocolate using high-quality Dutch powdered milk. We'll let you know if and when that one arrives on store shelves. K’ul is otherwise gluten- and dairy- free.
2211 East Franklin Avenue, Minneapolis