I met a chocolatier today. Everyone else in the world has the wrong job. He goes by the name of Jesse, and he co-owns the chocolate bar Cacao, named after the cocoa bean producing tree. Located on SW 13th just off of Burnside, Cacao sets the standard for gourmet chocolate. Step inside and you enter a different sort of world. A world where brown explodes in to hundreds of delicious hues, where chocolate comes in bars, beans, butter, and nibs.
An eager employee walked us through the store, pointing out his favorite confections. Asked about the price range of Cacao’s products, he gestures towards a towering gift box, but then passes on some candied wisdom: “You can buy a bottle of wine for three dollars or three-hundred, and they both might suck, but an eight dollar bar of chocolate will blow your mind.”
Our minds were in fact blown shortly thereafter by a flight of three drinking chocolate shots. Dark, cinnamon, and smoky chili-infused one-ounce drinks slid across the table on a tiny tray after we made liberal use of the corporate card. Lilliputian yet lavish, each shot served up decadent sips weighty in substance and silky in texture.
I forget sometimes, in days defined by commutes and convenience stores, to ask myself: “What is delicious?” Today I remember that love exists not just as an idea, but can be imbued in the product of one’s labor. And if I ever need a reminder, I need only stroll over to Cacao, a mere four blocks from Knit Purl.
414 Southwest 13th Avenue, Portland