New Chocolate: CioMod, from Sicily

[flickr-photo:id=3381811203]

Thanks to our friend Andrea Tosolini, Volta is debuting another new chocolate that is unavailable anywhere else in the US (yet). CioMod Neropuro is one of the more intriguing chocolates that we've come across. The packaging is extremely well designed; you'd think that the chocolates would be refined and sophisticated like Cuoronero or Maglio. The chocolate itself is unlike anything I've tried, anywhere in the world. CioMod prides itself on contemporary twists on regional Sicilian specialties. In their attempt to capture the “Terra del Sole” of Modica, they have developed a style of bar that seems ancient in execution. They don't use any cocoa butter in the bars: the pure dark, for instance, uses only cocoa mass and sugar. The pistachio bar adds only locally-grown Modica pistachios to the ingredients. The result is somewhat startling when you unwrap the bar. The surface looks like it has a swirling golden bloom, and when you snap the bar it appears to glisten with raw sugar granules. When you eat the chocolate, it has none of the characteristics that one would expect from a chocolate bar. There's no snap, no cocoa butter to smooth the flavor around. It's more like maple sugar candy: as the sugar and cocoa mass heats up, it dissolves into a luxurious buttery cream with profoundly deep chocolate flavor.