'A' Is for Amano

Editor's note: I've got another contributor to introduce you to here on Serious Eats. Say hello to Emily Stone, proprietor of the blog Chocolate in Context. Yep, you guessed it. She'll be along periodically to fill us in on what's going on in Chocolate World. Enjoy! —Adam



All About Chocolate

Everything you want to know about chocolate

Would you buy something called Lextek Chocolate? Well, I might, if it were made with expertly handled cacao beans from Venezuela's precious criollo trees and Madagascar's carefully tended 100-year-old stock. But not everyone is so easily wooed.

So when Utah-based Art Pollard and Clark Goble (not Gable) founded a chocolate company with the overflow of profits from their search-engine-software business Lextek, they settled on a sexier moniker, Amano. In addition to coming first in a virtual telephone book of artisanal chocolate producers (one slot above Italian-owned Amedei and safely 21 letters above the gold standard, Valrhona), "Amano" has a multitude of meanings.

  • "By hand," Italian, Spanish
  • "They love," Italian
  • "I flow it," Portuguese
  • "Heavenly field," Japanese
  • "Of rain," Japanese

On sale online and at more and more retail outlets since becoming available to the public in March, Amano chocolate has taken top awards at the New York Fancy Food Show and the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon.

It's also garnered accolades from Paris-based dessert maven David Lebovitz and Karletta Moniz's The Art of Tasting Chocolate in San Francisco. Amano's newest single-origin chocolate bar is Cuyagua. The name belongs to a Venezuelan valley—though it's not a bad title for a search engine, either.

About the author: Emily Stone, proprietor of Chocolate in Context, is a chocolate enthusiast, itinerant traveler, and a lover of literature who lives in Pittsburgh. She's been a movie reviewer, a reproductive health researcher, and an independent bookstore owner. Her writing has appeared in the magazines Budget Travel, Travel + Leisure, and Time Out New York, as well as on the websites World Hum and Epicurious.