When it comes to food, trying new things can sometimes be risky business.
And not because you might happen upon something that might make your taste buds recoil in horror, or may force you to spit your sample into a nearby napkin – we accept these things as occupational hazards here at Lovin Dublin, and think nothing of them.
We're far more worried about the risk of trying something for the first time – be it a new restaurant, recipe or brand – and realising that nothing will ever be the same again after that. That all the assumptions and expectations we've developed over the years now have to be challenged and rewritten, and that our old favourites have been unceremoniously dumped in favour of our new squeeze.
Yes, we're excitable folks; but, to be fair, this brand of craft chocolate has given us plenty to be excited about.
Sisters Karen and Natalie Keane of Bean & Goose Chocolate make their incredible handmade chocolates in the kitchen of their home in the Wexford countryside. Their method of making small batches of single-origin bars and truffles on marble slabs ensures that every one of their creations is up to the highest standard of quality, while their unusual-but-delicious flavour combinations really set them apart from their competitors.
I first came across Bean & Goose last year when they entered the Lovin Dublin Start Up competition and I have been faithfully addicted ever since. The first thing I tried was a bar of their "Winter Bark" which consisted of beautiful dark chocolate topped with whole, roasted hazelnuts, honey, orange peel and dried fruit. It was incredible.
My only issue? I had no idea where to buy it.
Luckily, since then I've happily discovered that they started trading at the Temple Bar Farmer's Market every Saturday alongside the superb Wildflour Bakery (surely another mark of quality) and I have been picking up treats from their stall every few weeks. Their dark chocolate with roast hazelnuts, honey and chilli is incredible – in fact, it's actually achieved what I once thought was impossible and converted me to chilli chocolate!
As well as their bars of chocolate you can pick up boxes of their truffles, ranging in familiar flavours like caramel sea salt or Irish whiskey to the more unusual ones like wild rose petal and saffron, blackberry and cinnamon, and orange and rosemary.
If you want to dip your toe into their world of luxury chocolate then check out their hot chocolates, which they also sell at their Temple Bar stall – just the thing to cheer you up on a cold morning!
As well as their stall in Temple Bar Farmer's Market every Saturday you can find their products in the following locations:
- The Woollen Mills
- Indigo & Cloth
- Lilliput Stores
- Celtic Whiskey Store
- The Little Gift Shop at The Hotel InterContinental
- The Purple Pantry @ Honest 2 Goodness Market every Saturday
- Salt Peter Deli @ The Greendoor Market Thursday - Saturday
While the chocolate is quite expensive (€5.50 for a bar), this is as far from mass-produced as you can get. Bean & Goose is a treat worth splashing out on, but just to warn you… Once you try them, you'll find it hard to go back to whatever chocolate you were munching on previously!