Side Dish: Cuckoo for Cacao

Canadian couple Noah Houghton and Katrina Merrem ditched their jobs in finance and moved to Dallas to pursue their passion: chocolate. From their workshop in Plano, Merrem creates gourmet, single-origin dark chocolates and truffles that reflect the flavors of the cacao sourced in Venezuela, Ecuador, Trinidad, and Côte d’Ivoire. Unlike other fine or mass-produced chocolates, the recipe for each is the same: approximately 75 percent cacao and 25 percent sugar, without any added flavors like vanilla. But like wine, ripe with flavors from the soil in which the grapes were grown, each Noka chocolate tastes distinct. Vivienté (Venezuela) is bright and citrusy; Carmenago (Ecuador) features flickers of tobacco and berries; Bambarra (Côte d’Ivoire) is rich with coconut; Tamborina (Trinidad) bursts with cherries at first bite. Packaged in chic, stainless-steel boxes, these decadent delights will please even the pickiest chocolate connoisseur. Buy direct (877-270-8209; www.nokachocolate.com) or at Stanley Korshak Home (500 Crescent Ct., Ste. 100; 214-871-3620). —J.C.

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