Monday, January 23, 2012

Oliver Kita Fine Confections at Fairchild Garden's Chocolate Festival, Miami, Fla.,

Twenty Five dollars was a small price to pay at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s Chocolate Festival, Miami, for access to Oliver Kita Fine Confections, of Rhinebeck, New York. I bought the Fairchild Special—three chocolate truffles for $5—Stout Beer in a Pretzel crust, Mojito, and Lavande Citronade.

Oliver Kita handing out chocolate samples to children at
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Chocolate Festival,
Miami, Florida

I asked a very personable Kita if he used any local New York State ingredients in his chocolates and he responded with an enthusiastic, yes. He said it was one of the reasons he went into making chocolates. At age 48, he had a successful restaurant business but realized money was not enough. He wanted to make a difference in life. “Our lives are about finding our true path,” said Kita.

So, he sold his restaurant and moved to France to study chocolate. When he came back, he opened a shop in upstate New York and started using local herbs, milk and liquors in his confections, a detail that can be tasted in his creations.

Oliver Kita putting chocolate truffles in a bag at Fairchild's
Chocolate Festival, Miami, Fla.,

His Stout Beer with Pretzel Crust truffle had beer from Keegan Ales (NY), dairy from Hudson Valley Fresh (NY) and pretzels from a small bakery in Pennsylvania. It was crunchy, salty, creamy, and sweet.

The Mojito truffle, made with organic agave from Organic Nectars (NY) was the right balance of spice, Tequila, citrus and dark chocolate.

The Lavande Citronade (lime and lavender) truffle was so intoxicating it transported me back to 1987 when I tried my first fresh chocolate from a Brussels, Belgium store. I waited for 45 minutes, on a cold November day, for my turn to purchase chocolate from a shop that was only open four hours a day. It had an expiration time instead of date on it because the Belgians considered chocolate stale after four hours. Kita's chocolate embrases the same idea.

His most locally centered chocolate collection is the Great Estates—made with Hudson River Valley farm sourced ingredients. The collection, with a colorful map, is tasting tour of his favorite mansions along the Hudson Valley River.

Oliver Kita Vegan and milk-chocolate organic Buddhas at
Fairchild Chocolate Festival, Miami, Fla.,

Kita has heard the buzz about Vegan chocolates. He had a 70 percent Organic dark vegan chocolate Buddha for sale at the Fairchild Festival. This Valentine’s Day he is launching a special Vegan collection made with Vegan sugar and chocolate.

He said his chocolates are considered treats not to be eaten every day, but if I lived in upstate New York, I would find it hard to eat them that way.

To find out more about Oliver Kito Fine Confections go to

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