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One Great Bite: Choctál

Choctál is a line of vanilla and chocolate ice creams, using beans from a single-sourced farm.


Photos by Jason DeRusha

We love single-origin coffee so much that Caribou is doing it in its stores. We know that wine can come from a single-vineyard. I'm a huge fan of single-origin chocolate bars, so called "bean to bar" such as former Minneapolis-company Rogue Chocolatier and current Fergus Falls company Terroir Chocolate. But I've never seen a line of single origin ice cream.

Sure, you've probably had a Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream before, but how about Papua New Guinea or Mexcian? Choctál is co-owned by Nancy Hytone Leb who went to high school here in Minnesota.

Mary Leb, Choctál

The ice cream is produced in Cedarbrook, Wisconsin, which makes it easier to distribute around the country.

I tasted the four vanilla ice creams and four chocolate ice creams. Each flavor changes notes only because of the variety of bean used, and there's no flavor added (other than a hint of cinnamon to the Mexican ice cream). It's really the best vanilla and chocolate ice creams I've ever had. I really liked the cherry finish on the Papua New Guinea Vanilla and the caramel notes on the Kalimantan Chocolate. You can find them at Kowalski's Markets and at Jerry's in Edina. Pro tip: buy the tour and taste each of the vanillas and each of the chocolates ($7.99). You can get a pint for about $7 when you decide your favorite.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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