Cao Chocolates of Miami
I had the pleasure of meeting Ricardo Trillos and his wife Anelith Ortega in November, 2014, when I was in Miami to accept a Readers’ Favourite Award for volume I of Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate. I’d met “Cao” (as he is fondly called) via Twitter, and was impressed at the way he’s been using social media to get the word out about his chocolate and increase the public’s knowledge about his world of fine chocolate. Cao loves wine as much as he loves chocolate, and has been doing special chocolate and wine pairing events for his customers to enhance their appreciation for and understanding of a pairing when it’s done right.
Cao Chocolates of Miami create terrific bean-to-bar chocolate
Cao and Anelith are originally from Venezuela, and moved to the US in 2004. He was an accountant by trade, and has a certificate in Human Resources, and calls himself an “accidental chocolate maker” when he had to get creative in finding ways to use up a 10-pound chocolate bar he’d received as a gift. “I got inspired by the movie, Chocolat, and wanted to be able to get the same reaction from people as the chocolatier in the movie got from the mayor.”
Through books and experimentation, Cao taught himself to make chocolate. And, wow! He taught himself well, as the chocolate creations at Cao Chocolates are simply amazing. Whether you like your chocolate pure and dark in a bar, you enjoy the sensual pleasures of chocolate truffles and ganaches, or you’re looking for something more playful in the form of chocolate confections, you’ll find a great selection in the tiny chocolate shop located in the Dadeland neighbourhood of Miami.
My friend Christine and I were treated to a wide array of Cao Chocolates and I quickly fell in love with the Dark Desires, the pistachio truffles made from a blend of crushed American and Italian pistachios that cover a pure chocolate ganache made of 73% Caranero Venezuelan cocoa beans.
I was extremely sad when I finished the last one. I guess I’ll just have to make a return trip to Miami. But if you’re lucky enough to live in Miami, you can get hand delivery of fresh chocolates to your door, and if you live in the US, you can order online.
As Cao and Anelith are of Venezuelan heritage Cao originally worked primarily with cocoa beans from Venezuela. But he also experiments with other origins, and is continually expanding the list of chocolate specialties you’ll find at Cao Chocolates. Do drop by when you’re in Miami. You have my recommendation.