The last time I moved apartments, someone helping me carry my belongings was taken aback by the load of chocolate bars I had to transfer from one fridge to the other. I tried to defend myself by saying, “People keep giving them to me!” While this is true, I probably bought the majority of them myself.
Still. This particular chocolate bar was a gift, from a dear friend who took a trip to Colorado. She brought me a 2.25-oz dark chocolate bar from Denver-based Hammond’s Candies. My bar had 72% cacao, but I can’t find it on the website, so it’s possible that Hammond’s has recently scaled back its cacao content to 70%.
Hammond’s has been around since 1920. Founder Carl Hammond dropped out of school after eighth grade and got a job at a candy factory, and he never looked back. Hammond’s took off, making all kinds of confections including their signature “Mitchell Sweets,” which are handmade marshmallows covered in soft caramel.
They also hand-make hard candies like lollipops and decorative sweets, as well as novelty confections, and a whole line of retro candies that are pretty fun. They are the nation’s largest producer of candy canes, cranking out about 7 million per year. I can easily imagine Hammond’s stocking up Santa’s workshop or some other whimsical imaginary place where candies called “puffs, pillows, sticks, stirrers, and straws” are everyday tools. They even sell their misshapen candies on the cheap, as the “Oops” line.
So, chocolate’s not their main gig – but in my opinion, you can’t be a candy-maker without a little chocolate. Hammond’s version is thick, requiring a decisive eater. Gotta take a good bite in order to snap off a piece, which melts smooth and a bit waxy in my mouth. The flavor is sweet like oats, with overtones of honey, vanilla, and banana. Many thanks to N for bringing even more chocolate into my life!
If you like chocolate, read more of my Very Dark Chocolate tasting reviews by clicking here!