Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Chocolate Story Manufaktura Czekolady - House Blend Milk 44% kakao with roasted hazelnuts - Mar. 19, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Story
Manufaktura Czekolady 
House Blend Milk 44% kakao with roasted hazelnuts (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 1.75 oz. (50 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 279 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift from maker

Welcome. Sometimes one is in the right place at the right time to hear a wonderful new chocolate story. Such was the case recently, while at Chocolate Covered in San Francisco. Krzysztof Stypulkowski* was in this shop speaking with Jack, the owner, about carrying some new bars from Poland. What luck! We were there too, chocolate shopping.

Today's House Blend Milk 44% kakao with roasted hazelnuts bar was made by Manufaktura Czekolady (Chocolate Story) based in Poland.

The aroma was one of high-quality dark milk chocolate. The melt and texture were smooth, and the mouth feel became even creamier after the first bite. The chocolate tasted richer and darker than its 44% cacao content. The carefully distributed whole roasted hazelnuts added fresh nut flavor and a satisfying soft crunch.

Looking forward to tasting and featuring more Chocolate Story bars in the near future. (The taste we had of the company's Uganda bar recently caught our attention.)

*Krzysztof has background as an Information Technology (IT) professional. This is not unusual for artisan chocolate makers. Some of the best bean-to-bar chocolate we've seen has come from people with technical backgrounds, who feel as at home building and fixing machines and problem-solving as they do with sharing their chocolate story with others.


Solstice Chocolate - India 70% Dark Chocolate Anamalai bar - March 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Solstice Chocolate
India 70% Dark Chocolate Anamalai bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .766 oz. (21.6 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 106.6 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $13.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.

Today's 70% Dark Chocolate Anamalai (India) bar was from Solstice Chocolate (Salt Lake City, UT).

This bar had a stronger fruit aroma and flavor than other bars made with cacao from Anamalai* featured this week.

The aroma of today's 70% dark bar had dried fruit (golden raisins, goji berries) and very faint spice notes. The bar broke with a hard snap; and the melt and texture were smooth.

The flavor had strong fruit notes (tangy red raspberries, passion fruit) and a faint hint of of acetic acid (fruit vinegar), followed by light black pepper and spice.

The packaging was attractive and unique in that it was also a re-sealable pouch.

*Anamalai is a cacao, coconut and nutmeg farm in southern India. 


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tiny House Chocolate Artisans - 67% India Dark Chocolate (Anamalai) bar - March 17, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Tiny House Chocolate Artisans
67% India Chocolate bar - Source: Anamalai
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .705 oz. (20 g.) / 1.41 oz. (40 g.) in total bar
Calories: 112 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's 67% Anamalai India Chocolate Artisans bar was from Tiny House Chocolate Artisans (Santa Cruz, CA).

Tiny House Chocolate was featured in an article in Good Times (Santa Cruz, CA). (Photo of founders at right is from this article.)

Gustavo Hilsdorf and Maiana Lasevicius, the artisans behind small batch Tiny House Chocolate Artisans, moved to Santa Cruz, California, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and started offering bean-to-bar chocolate in 2015. (Lasevicius's father makes chocolate in Brazil, likely providing them with some helpful background and experience.)

The duo roast and grind cacao beans from multiple origins around the globe and sell two-ingredient (cocoa beans and sugar) single bars as well as bars with carefully selected inclusions. (Look for a write-up on their Sarsaparilla bar in a few weeks.) Today's bar was made from Forastero and Criollo cacao beans grown in the Anamalai area of Southern India.

This bar had an aroma with light green, fruit and faint spice notes, and a creamy, smooth melt,  texture and finish.

The 67% bar was similar in flavor profile to other Anamalai bars featured this week (all were well-executed and balanced) only with a tiny bit more fruit acidity (which some will like) that was perhaps highlighted by a tad more sugar than the other bars. Although it certainly was balanced and did not taste too sweet.

Makers tasting notes listed on the packaging read: "Dried fruits and Brazil nuts."


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Pascati - 81% Dark Idukki, Inda bar - March 16, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Pascati Foods LLP
81% Dark Idukki, India bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.32.5 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocosphere.com (online order)

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.
Today's 81% Dark Idukki, India bar was manufactured by Pascati Foods India LLP (Palgahar, Maharashtra, India).

Like its sibling, the 72% Dark Idukki bar (featured yesterday), this darker 81% version had an aroma with green, dried fruit, slight earth and very faint spice/herb notes.

The flavor* was similar to the aroma with green, fruit, green herb, and mild earthiness throughout.

This bar possessed a balanced dark flavor profile without the bitterness or sharpness you might find in other high-percentage, ultra-dark bars. It had a creamy melt and texture, smooth taste, and subtle finish.

This organic bar contained/listed three ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter.

*This bar contained "added natural flavours;" and details concerning these flavors were not specified.

Pascati - 72% Dark Idukki, India bar - March 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Pascati Foods LLP
72% Dark Idukki, India bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.32.5 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 228 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocosphere.com (online order)

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.
Today's 72% Dark Idukki, India bar was manufactured by Pascati Foods India LLP (Palgahar, Maharashtra, India).

This bar had an aroma with green, dried fruit, slight earth and very faint spice/herb notes.

The flavor* was similar to the aroma with green, dried fruit (golden raisins, goji berries), more green, and very mild earthiness toward the end of the tasting curve.

This bar possessed a rich, balanced dark flavor without bitterness or sharpness. It had an even melt and texture, smooth taste and subtle finish.

This relatively creamy organic bar contained/listed three ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter.

*This bar contained "added natural flavors;" and details concerning these flavors were not specified.









Thursday, March 14, 2019

Arete Fine Chocolate - India Anamalai 58% Dark Milk Chocolate bar - March 14, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Arete Fine Chocolate
India Anamalai 58% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar)
Very Good
Weight: .76 oz. (21.6 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $12.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Arete Fine Chocolate (online order)

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

Today's India Anamalai 58% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar) from Arete Fine Chocolate.

Today's four-ingredient bar contained India Anamalai cocoa beans, organic whole milk powder, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter. The bar broke with a well-tempered snap.

The aroma of this 58% dark milk chocolate bar was similar to the the 70% Arete India Anamalai dark bar sampled earlier this week, with pleasing chocolate and light spice notes.

However, the added milk resulted in deliciously complementary caramel/light butterscotch (aroma and flavor notes) and gave the chocolate an even creamier melt and texture.

I find well-crafted dark milk chocolate bars like this addicting. They start with high-quality dark chocolate and come from skilled makers. Makers David and Leslie also sent me a sample of their Peru milk chocolate bar with this order. (Thank you!). I'll probably be ordering both these bars again, soon.

Arete Fine Chocolate - India Jangareddygudem 70% Dark Chocolate bar - March 13, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Arete Fine Chocolate
India Jangareddygudem 70% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good +++
Weight: .766 oz. (33.3 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $16.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's India Jangareddygudem 70% Organic Dark Chocolate (bar) was crafted by Arete Fine Chocolate.

This three-ingredient bar contained organic cacao, organic cane sugar and single origin Jangareddygudem cocoa butter.

The chocolate had an enjoyable, complex and subtle tasting profile with light green notes, light spice, and a trace young green coconut/coconut palm sugar. Very smooth and well executed.
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