The past fifteen years have been a sea of change in how chocolate is made in America. Before, confectioners would buy couverture (bulk block chocolate) usually from one of three companies—all European. Depending on the chocolate maker's budget they could spend a lot or a little but the gist was the same: they melted others chocolate and blended it to make their own.
Then came the 'bean-to-bar' movement which changed everything. The movement started with a handful of chocolate makers who wanted to create their own couverture instead of buying it pre-made. The makers got the moniker 'bean-to-bar' because they sourced their own cacao beans—sometimes buying directly from farmers—then roasted the beans before turning them into chocolate bars. Their signature bars were often made from a single farm's beans, roasted and made into bars that showed all the idiosyncracies and personality of a particular strain of bean from a particular place.
Fresh Coast Chocolate started a couple years ago in Traverse City, Michigan working bean-to-bar in exactly that vein. Their bars have personality in spades. This bar's beans come from the Akesson Plantation in Madigascar's Sambirano region, where terroir and post-harvest fermentation and drying work together to produce beans with a sparkling range of complex flavors. This bar has a really big impact, with bright notes of berries, roasted notes of coffee and even a little dried fig finish. Fruity and full, you'll only need a square or two to satisfy your chocolate yearnings.