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New Meetup: Nerd Fun Chocolate Tasting @ Aroa Fine Chocolate, South Boston

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Thursday, January 7, 2010 10:21 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Nerd Fun Chocolate Tasting @ Aroa Fine Chocolate, South Boston

When: January 20,[masked]:00 PM

Aroa Fine Chocolate
1651 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118

Aroa Fine Chocolate, in South Boston, holds Chocolate Tastings a few times a month [Link: ]. It is the first stop for many Chocolate Walking Tours in the Boston Area. T.J. Maher has scheduled a private tasting there for Nerd Fun for sixteen or so people there. Care to join up? Like their usual chocolate tastings it will be ten dollars per person. Thankfully, T.J. doesn't have to collect your money beforehand, you just pay at the tasting.

What: Nerd Fun Chocolate Tating
Where: Aroa Fine Chocolate, 1651 Washington, Boston, MA 02118
When: Wednesday, January 20, 2009 at 7:00 pm
Price: $10 per person

When T.J. Maher first inquired about the Chocolate Tasting, he mentioned that as much as the chocolate itself, Nerd Fun members would be interested in the science of chocolate: How does soil composition, climate, and location affect the taste of the chocolate? What are the different varieties of beans? How is the chocolate created? What special techniques do you use to shape the chocolate?

... let's see if they are ready for us! Since there is limited seating, RSVPs have been set to YES/ NO. If you find out that you can't come, please change your RSVP to "No".

Where to Meet:

Since from T.J.'s understanding, Nerd Fun members are the only people attending the chocolate tasting, showing up before 7:00 pm should be enough.

Care to grab a small bite to eat beforehand? T.J. will be grabbing a sandwich at Flour Bakery and Cafe at 1595 Washington Street [ Menu: ] starting at 5:45 pm. Feel free to drop in! He'll throw a red MEETUP table tent on a few of the tables, depending on how many people mention in their RSVP they want to drop by. T.J. is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. Since Aroa is a block and a half away leaving by 6:50 pm should be fine.

Directions from Flour to Aroa:,+Boston,+MA+02118&daddr=1595+Washington+St,+Boston,+MA+02118+(Flour+Bakery+%26+Cafe)&geocode=FacFhgId8HnD-ykx2CEUFXrjiTEQR0hbn_0NjA%3BFVQIhgId7X3D-yFs8bLDHkWMFSm_ZgIkFXrjiTEH5hTTCkKZOg&sll=42.33804,-71.07483&sspn=0.001386,0.002068&gl=us&hl=en&mra=cc&dirflg=w&ie=UTF8&z=19 )

Directions to Flour:
Subway: "Take the Orange Line to Mass Ave station. Turning right out of the station, walk down Massachusetts Avenue four blocks south to Washington Street. Turn left on Washington Street, and Flour is four blocks down on your left".

Car: "Drive to the corner of Mass Ave and Washington Street, one block north of Boston Medical Center. Go east on Washington Street about four blocks and Flour is on your left".

Bus: "Take the Silver Line bus which runs up and down Washington Street, and get off at the Rutland Street stop near Blackstone Park and the Community Gardens".

About Aroa:

"Aroa Fine Chocolate is an innovative combination of the very noblest of European traditions, modern techniques stemming from the very highest level of chocolate-making in Japan, South African and North American chocolate artisans and the use of one the world?s finest chocolates ? El Rey ? made in Venezuela with the world famous Venezuelan Cacao beans.

"Our products possess a delicate balance of flavour and aroma ? the result of an exquisite blend of science and nature. There is a complexity of taste, texture and fruity nuances which deliver elegant levels of satisfaction to chocolate lovers of all ages".

About the chef, Tim Brown (according to Aroa's website):

"[...] In addition to helping open Emerson [Inn and Spa in upstate New York], Tim has trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Poughkeepsie, New York, and at the Valrhona School of Chocolate in Hermitage, France. Prior to joining Aroa, he was the Executive Pastry Chef at the acclaimed Wheatleigh Hotel in the Berkshires and the Turnberry Isle Resort and Club in Miami, Florida.

"Aroa Fine Chocolate is thrilled to have Tim Brown running its kitchen, where he is using his broad array of skills and experiences to craft El Rey Venezuelan chocolate into the finest pastries, truffles, candies, and other confections in the Boston area".

About El Rey Venezuelan Chocolate:

"Why do we use El Rey Venezuelan Chocolate for all of our products at Aroa Fine Chocolate?

"Because the very finest cacao beans grown anywhere come from Venezuela. In fact, cacao as a species began in western Venezuela, in the basin of the Lake of Maracaiobo.

"With its fine flavor and aroma, Venezuelan cacao traditionally has been blended with lesser grades of cacao from other origins in order to provide consumers with a more palatable and evenly balanced product.

"However, chocolate aficianados and pastry chefs now realize that chocolate made only with Venezuelan cacao is not only balanced, but has a uniquely appealing taste, texture, and enticing aroma that distinguishes it from other premium chocolates.

"Particularly in the dark chocolates one perceives the real taste of Venezuelan cacao; the fruity acids, its tanins, and the long soothing linger of flavor.

"When we combine El Rey chocolate with other premium ingredients found in the Aroa pastry kitchen, the chocolate truffles, bon bons, cakes, tarts and other pastries that result are simply spectacular. We invite you to taste and see for yourself".

Sweet Start, by Clara Silverstein, Boston Globe, 4/23/2008:

"A cross between a fine chocolate shop and a cafe, Aroa Fine Chocolates sets out a staggering assortment of sweets from breakfast until 9 p.m. Financiers ($1.09), Sacher tortes ($4.25 individual; $30 whole), nougats ($1.09), caramels (49 cents), and other chocolates reflect proprietor Alejandro Luna's experience - he used to run the Chocolate Bar at the Langham Hotel - as well as his passion for 'keeping a fresh, open mind' about how to use his favorite ingredient. You can also find hot chocolate in metal pots with built-in stirrers ($3 to $3.50) and macaroons sandwiched with passion fruit filling ($1.43). The name Aroa comes from Luna's native Venezuela, where cocoa beans are becoming big business. Everything is made in the shop's climate-controlled kitchen, which you can see through a window. Watch while you decide what to choose."

The Passionate Foodie: 6/3/2008:

"After my recent tasty trek to Chocolee Chocolates, I was curious how another new chocolate store would measure up. Aroa Fine Chocolate is also located in the South End of Boston but is on Washington Street. They have been open for less than three months.

"The owner of Aroa is Alejandro Luna who was born in Venezuela. He has worked in the culinary world for some time, last as the executive pastry chef at Langham's. He wanted to open a European-style caf? and now his dream has come to fruition. To make his chocolate creations, Alejandro uses single-bean chocolate from Venezuela. The store has a large glass wall where you can see the bakers work. Alejandro employs mainly culinary students, making this a teaching environment as well.

"Aroa has a larger selection of items than does Chocolee. First, like Chocolee, Aroa has an extensive selection of filled chocolates, which you can see in the first picture above. Besides the chocolates, Aroa has macaroon cookies, marshmallows, jelly candies, and baked goods. Prices are about comparable to Chocolee".

Chocolate Tours that start at Aroa:

Boston Chocolate Walking Tours:

"We're Boston Chocolate Walking Tours, and we provide guided walking and tasting tours of select Boston chocolate shops, bakeries, and cafes. We're Boston's original chocolate walking tour, founded by Harvard grad and chocolate maniac Valerie Beck, with the mission of Uplift Through Chocolate" ($40/ per person)

Taste of Chocolate Walking Tour:

"The South End Chocolate Tour is a two and half hour walking tour with stops at the South End's best chocolate boutiques and hidden locations" ($45 / per person)

Directions From the T:

* It appears that Aroa is a few blocks from Blackstone Square, Franklin Square, and the Flour Bakery & Cafe. It is a ten minute walk from the Massachusetts Ave Orange Line stop:,+Boston,+MA+02118&geocode=FYgUhgIdYVrD-ymZLJs7F3rjiTGsPb_I96Lvuw%3BFacFhgId8HnD-ykx2CEUFXrjiTEQR0hbn_0NjA&sll=42.33903,-71.079315&sspn=0.005543,0.008272&hl=en&mra=cc&dirflg=w&ie=UTF8&z=17

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