Cocoa Rebels: SPAGnVOLA Transforms Dominican Chocolate into a Stateside Treat

“Of course I love chocolates,” says SPAGnVOLA’s co-owner and head chocolatier, Crisoire Reid, as she brings some heavy cream to a boil.

“Doesn’t everybody?”

She has just begun making a batch of her signature rosemary-olive-oil truffles in the kitchen downstairs from the booming bonbon boutique that she and her husband, co-owner Eric Reid, opened last year in Gaithersburg.

Racks of finished treats line one side of SPAGnVOLA (pronounced “spang-vola”), cacao-pod outlines are painted on the floor, and the rich scent of chocolate fills the air. Over the course of an average week, this hardworking Montgomery County confectioner might make 6,000-7,000 truffles, though she cranked out almost 60,000 last December in order to keep up with holiday demand.

Adding a sprig of fresh rosemary to the bubbling pot, Crisoire begins stirring slowly to help the flavor evenly infuse the cream.

“One day, I was at the grocery store and I smelled the rosemary,” she explains. “I immediately thought, ‘Oh, my god, maybe I can work this flavor into a chocolate,’ though you don’t expect to find that flavor in something sweet.”

A few minutes later, she strains out the herb and adds in a mound of hand-shaved chocolate, which turns the mixture a lustrous mahogany.

Finish reading this article on the Maryland Life website now.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Helfert, Maryland Life.

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