Friday, October 18, 2019

Luisa Abram - Chocolate Da Amazonia Brasileira Cacau Selvagem 81% - Rio Acara (Acara River) bar - Oct. 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Luisa Abram
Chocolate Da Amazonia Brasileira Cacau Selvagem 81% - Rio Acara (Acara River) bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8 oz. (80 g.) in total package of 2 bars
Calories: 180 calories (per label) in 1 oz. (28 g.) piece (about 2/3 of 1 bar)
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA
Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Chocolate Da Amazonia Brasileira Cacau Selvagem 81% - Rio Acara (Acara River) was crafted by Luisa Abram (Sao Paulo, Brazil).

Following a series of single estate bars from Arcelia Gallardo at Mission Chocolate is another bar (package of two, individually-wrapped bars actually) made in Brazil (from wild harvested cacao) from intrepid cacao hunter and chocolate maker, Luisa Abram

Abram has chosen to focus on wild-grown cacao, usually found by rivers in the Amazon rainforest, on trees growing under canopy shade of larger trees, rather than cacao grown on large farms/plantations.

Abram created this bar with "81% cacao fairly traded from riverside communities who obtain their (cacao) fruits from native trees along the Rio Acara (Acara River), in the Brazilian Amazon Forest."

This unique, two-ingredient* bar had a vegetative, slightly woody and earthy green, and roasted coffee, aroma. It had a bold, yet smooth dark flavor, and a slightly astringent/grainy texture and finish. Re-tasting this complex chocolate a moment later yielded more layers: more bold chocolate flavor along with faint green coconut, earth, cream and citrus fruit notes.

*Ingredients: cocoa mass and organic cane sugar



-->

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Mission Chocolate - Escuro 90% Fazenda Vale Potumuju bar - Oct. 17, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mission Chocolate
Escuro 90% Fazenda Vale Potumuju bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 168 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Escuro 90% Fazenda Vale Potumuju bar was from Arcelia Gallardo, founder of Mission Chocolate (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

This three-ingredient,* ultra-dark chocolate was creamy and quite mild given its very high percentage of cacao solids. It had a very faint, pleasant, fleeting vegetable aroma note (cooked potato and greens), with light fruit and true chocolate flavor.

The melt, as mentioned was creamy and the texture was quite smooth throughout. This will likely be one of the least bitter 90%er that you'll ever sample. It was slightly bittersweet in the finish.

Both the 80% Fazenda Leolinda and today's 90% Fazenda Vale Potumuju bars from this maker were quite friendly, well balanced and enjoyable bars without a lot of sugar. (Thank you Arcelia!)

*Ingredients: Cacao, Organic sugar, cocoa butter

Mission Chocolate - Escuro 80% Fazenda Leolinda bar - Oct. 16, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mission Chocolate
Escuro 80% Fazenda Leolinda bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 163.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Escuro 80% Fazenda Leolinda bar was from Mission Chocolate (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

This bar had a relatively light aroma with true chocolate and a mild fruit acidity notes. The chocolate flavors in this Single Estate (Fazenda Leolinda, Atlantic Rainforest biome) bar differed slightly from the bars made with cacao grown at Fazenda Camboa (where cacao was grown/sourced for other Mission Chocolate bars featured this week).

One must trust in the maker's judgment when it comes to cacao batch/farm decisions for ultra-dark chocolate (80% and higher), as these choices are not made lightly. Cacaos that works very nicely with more sugar, don't always fare as nicely when sugar levels drop from 30% to 10%. (Some cacaos require added fat or cacao butter to smooth away rough edges or to muffle bitter notes.)

Chocolate maker Arcelia Gallardo's choice to go with this cacao for this 80 percent dark bar resulted in a balanced ultra-dark bar that chocolate lovers who normally stick to 70 percent bars will find approachable. The chocolate had a lingering, balanced finish with traces of even, balanced fruit acidity, a very faint roasted note, and a faint hint of astringency toward the end. (There were no bitter or off notes in this ultra-dark chocolate.)

Reno Chocolate Day Trip - Sugar Love Chocolates

And speaking of women chocolate makers and chocolatiers...

Thank you to Katie at Sugar Love Chocolates (Reno, NV) for her tasting assistance with today's Brazilian bar (and help with lunch and chocolate confection choices at Sugar Love).

This cafe and chocolate shop (discovered in the basement of the Old Post Office in downtown Reno, Nevada), was founded by chocolatier Krysta Bea Jackson, and offered a variety of filled chocolates that I sampled and enjoyed.

The European-style chocolates I purchased (including Raspberry Rose, Earl Grey, Cherry Black Pepper, Urfa Biber and Peruvian Golden Berry) were made using couverture chocolate imported from France and Colombia. The fillings were fresh, natural-tasting and delicious. I look forward to featuring some of these flavors (and bars) on Chocolate Banquet in the future.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mission Chocolate - Escuro 70 % Fazenda Camboa 2018 Harvest bar - Oct. 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mission Chocolate
Escuro 70% Fazenda Camboa 2018 Harvest bar
Good +++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 162 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Escuro 70% Fazenda Camboa 2018 Harvest Dark Chocolate bar was from Arcelia Gallardo of Mission Chocolate (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

This offering had an appealing chocolate aroma and smooth melt and texture. The 70% cacao dark bar had true chocolate flavor, with soft, balanced touches of faintly fermented dairy milk*, clay/earth, and light sweet forest berry/forest floor.

The finish was pleasant and lingering with a very light astringency.

Making Chocolate "In Country"
Up until recent years, the opportunities for U.S. consumers to try chocolate made in the same country where the cacao had been grown were relatively few and far between. Chocolate making in the U.S. almost always involves transcontinental supply chains.

Arcelia Gallardo moved to Brazil from the U.S. and found herself much closer to cacao growing farms (such as the large organic farm, Fazenda Camboa in Bahia that she works extensively with now).  It must have been exciting to produce "fresher" chocolate in the same country where cacao was grown (i.e. making chocolate "in country").

Over time, she also experienced some of the challenges of making chocolate in a tropical environment (e.g. more frequent power outages), and learned the value of techniques such as resting/seasoning chocolate. (How ironic that initially some of her chocolate might have been "too" fresh because she was so close to the harvest source.)

In a (Well Tempered) podcast interview, Gallardo talked about learning the value of letting chocolate rest a bit first before making bars to enhance/create the optimum flavor profile. When she had made chocolate at/with Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco, the long transportation chain that existed between farms and their small factory facility had "built in" aging time, due to the longer supply chain.

*There was no dairy or milk in this bar that contained only three ingredients: organic cacao, organic sugar and cocoa butter.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Mission Chocolate - Laranja 70% Fazenda Camboa Dark Chocolate with Candied Orange Peel (bar) - Oct. 14, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mission Chocolate
Laranja 70% Fazenda Camboa Dark Chocolate with Candied Orange Peel (bar)
Brazil Biomes Project - Atlantic Rainforest
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 147 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar

Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Laranja 70% Fazenda Camboa dark chocolate bar was created by Arcelia Gallardo at Mission Chocolate (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

This well-crafted 70% cacao chocolate was made from cacao grown at Fazenda Camboa (Brazil's largest organic farm, in Bahia, Brazil).

The smooth, yet relatively complex dark chocolate had flavor notes of true chocolate, earth and dairy milk (there was no milk or dairy ingredients in this bar), and very faint spice (although this latter note could have been associated with the orange).*

Pieces of high-quality, candied orange peel with a soft chew complemented this chocolate very nicely. As with all the Mission Chocolate bars sampled this week, Gallardo** has done a wonderful job of highlighting the best of Brazilian flavors with her chocolate.

* Ingredients: Organic cacao, organic sugar, orange peel, cocoa butter
**Arecelia Gallardo grew up in California and spent time making chocolates in the San Francisco Bay Area before moving to Brazil.



Mission Chocolate - Cupuacu 70% Fazenda Camboa: Colheita 2018 (bar) - Oct. 13, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Mission Chocolate
Cupuacu 70% Fazenda Camboa: Colheita 2018 (bar)
Chocolate Escuro Com Pedacinhos de Doce Cupuacu
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 143 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Cupuacu 70% Fazenda Camboa: Colheita 2018 (bar) was from Mission Chocolate* (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

Mission Chocolate founder Arcelia Gallardo highlights flavors from Brazil in her bars.

Today's bar included pieces of cupuacu fruit (Theobroma grandiflorum) that grows in Brazilian rainforests and is a relative of cacao (Theobroma cacao). Cupuacu fruit has more sweet flesh surrounding its seeds (than the minimal white pulp found in cacao pods—which is wonderful nonetheless). And Gallardo's pairing of this delicious fruit with chocolate was magnificent.

The flavor in these small squares of dried cupuacu fruit seemed to shift from guava to bright pineapple to a cross between a mango and a papaya, to a fountain of liquid citrus (sweet tangerine) sunshine. Naturally when a fruit (or any inclusion) is this exciting, there is a danger or overshadowing the chocolate.**

Indeed, the chocolate seemed to shift a bit when combined with its botanical cousin. The base 70% chocolate (made with cacao (Colheita 2018) from Fazenda Camboa in Bahia, Brazil) seemed "lighter" than previous from Misson Chocolate 70% bars tasted this week. It did have a slight dairy milk/milk chocolate feel to it. It had a fleeting very light earth flavor and true chocolate note, and perhaps it was a tiny bit more nutty. However, this latter characteristic could have been an artifact of tasting it with the embedded cupuacu fruit pieces.

Gallardo's Brazil Biomes Project designation(s) on her chocolate bar labels invite consumers to appreciate the diverse environments and cacao growing regions that span a large country like Brazil (or even a large farm like Fazenda Camboa). She chooses ingredients from a specific biome area to highlight in a given bar. (Brazil has six biome areas, i.e. five others apart from the Amazon—probably the best known. Atlantic Rainforest would be another.)

*The company's name, Mission Chocolate, was inspired in part by founder Arcelia Gallardo's stay in the Bay Area when she was working with Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission district of San Francisco, before her move to Brazil.

**Mission Chocolate uses cacao grown in Brazil (from Fazenda Camboa in Bahia). This bar was made with only three ingredients: organic cacao, organic sugar, cupuacu (fruit).

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Mission Chocolate - Goiabada 70% Dark Chocolate with Guava Chunks (bar) - Oct. 12, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Mission Chocolate
Goiabada 70% Dark Chocolate with Guava Chunks (bar)
Brazil Biomes Project - Atlantic Rainforest, Fazenda Camboa
Good +++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 146 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Goiabada 70% Dark Chocolate with Guava Chunks (bar) was created by Arcelia Gallardo at Mission Chocolate (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

Biting into this bar at 7:00 a.m. in the cool morning air evoked an image of hunting for bright fruit in a deep, dark forest. Later in the day, after the (room, palette and chocolate) warmed up, this bar had a sweet, light earth and tropical fruit aroma. The chocolate was smooth and dark with a light earth note. The small squares of dried fruit had authentic just-harvested guava flavor, with a smoothly chewy and mixed silken and slightly granular dried fruit texture. 

A short list of fresh, high-quality ingredients (cacao, organic sugar, guava and cocoa butter) were skillfully blended to make this a wonderful tasting experience.

*Fazenda Camboa, owned by two brothers, is the largest organic farm in Brazil. Located in Bahia, north of Sao Paolo, this farm offers forastero and trinitario cacao. Gallardo is (according to the Mission Chocolate website) currently using Fazenda Camboa's trinitario hybrid cacao for her bars. The cacao for this bar was part of the Atlantic Rainforest Brazil Biomes Project.




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...