While the Kickstand Culture crew was biking the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, South Carolina, we stopped at the Swamp Rabbit Cafe & Grocery to refuel with some comfort food. It was then that we discovered Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolates. The bicycle-adorned wrappers were too beautiful to pass by... but it was the taste of these gloriously sublime cocoa wonders with which we fell in love. We think you will fall in love with them too.
This bar features certified organic beans from the Palos Blancos region of Bolivia. The flavor of this bar is earthy (for any wine connoisseurs reading, think forest floor) and creamy, and about midway through, tastes just like a brownie. There are some very subtle fruit flavors, as well. Despite having a robust chocolate flavor, this is one of the lightest roasts done, so there is virtually no bitterness, and only a slight amount of astringency in the finish. Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolates takes the phrase "To Die For" to a whole new level.
Made in the USA.
.5 oz bar. It's about 5 inches long and almost an inch wide.
As a young child, Mike Orlando (founder) was always interested in science and nature, and in trying to figure out how things worked or were made. As he got older, he realized he enjoyed the creative aspects of art as much as the analytical aspects of science. His career history let him from being a marine biologist, scuba diving to collect data for researchers, to an analytical chemist analyzing unknowns, while his hobbies had him reading philosophy and playing in a band.
After 10+ years of being a career scientist, he lacked creative outlets, so he started taking on new hobbies in his spare time: coffee roasting, restoring antique espresso machines, making cheese, baking, and eventually, during the process of building his own coffee roaster, he found chocolate making and was hooked. The more he got into the chocolate making hobby, the more distant his interest in unknown samples became. About a year later, he quit his job and with little money in savings, became one of the only bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the country.
What started in his kitchen with a pound of cocoa beans, a juicer, and a toaster oven, has now turned into a small-scale artisan chocolate company, complete with a factory that is stocked with obscure, and in most cases, home-built or modified equipment, serving over 400 retail customers nationwide.