Did you know there is an actual Midwest Aronia Association? A group of folks dedicated to providing information on the culture of Aronia? Well, now you know!
To say Aronia berries (also known as Chokeberries) taste sweet is, well, not exactly the way I would put it. As I've told many people, farming is an experiment in my mind. I planted these Aronia shrubs about five years agonot really knowing much about them other than what the seed magazine said. The magazine made them sound so yummy I just had to add some to the farm to infuse in to my chocolates.
The first berries berries appeared in 2012. Since it was such a dry year I was surprised to have any! With a childlike affection, I picked a few and popped them in to my mouth....and spit them out! Bitter bitter bitter! Not what I expected. Ah, a challenge!
I picked about two pounds of berries, processed them in to a nice thick puree (they have lots of natural pectin btw). Time to figure out which chocolate would stand up to these bitter berries. This is the hard part of my job. Infuse the puree in to some chocolate...taste...and repeat with another chocolate. It took three tries. The beautiful result will be released in boxes at the Madison Westside Community Market on September 7th. Hope to see you there!