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University of Missouri

Passing The Bar

Local chocolate maker teaches CAFNR students.

Mizzou Crunch

The Mizzou Crunch bar is made of dark chocolate, can sugar, whole milk, roasted peanuts and sea salt. Photo by Rob Hill.

“What does it mean to put Mizzou in a chocolate bar?”

That was the first existential chocolate question posed to Kayla Hauck, a junior from Columbia majoring in food science, and her teammates for a new product development project at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. To help answer it, Azlin Mustapha, associate professor of food science, tapped local chocolate artisan Alan “Patric” McClure, BA ’05.

McClure, owner of Patric Chocolate, began by teaching the five students about his gourmet confection’s finer points — the chemistry of chocolate, workable flavor combinations, recipes and techniques. The team concocted Mizzou Crunch, a delectable dark-chocolate blend of cacao, organic cane sugar, whole milk, roasted peanuts and sea salt.

“We agreed we wanted something that would taste good but at the same time would work in Columbia,” says McClure, who briefly considered a version of the chocolate with chili powder. “We didn’t want to do something too crazy.”

McClure knows extreme chocolate. Before launching his company in 2006, he explored exotic locations, including France, Belize and Venezuela, to learn about cocoa beans. The bars are handmade 1,000 at a time and available locally at Clover’s Natural Market, Hy-Vee and Kaldi’s Coffee.