Friday, May 27, 2022

TCHO - Organic, fair trade "Born Fruity" (filled bar) - May 26, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

TCHO 
Organic "Born Fruity" (filled bar)
Good ++
Weight: .83 oz. (23 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total package of 3 bars
Calories: 120 calories in 1 small bar
Cost: $ N/A - sample from TCHO (from a factory tour; thank you Toni, Alana, Brad)
Purchased from: N/A - sample from TCHO

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Fruit Theme Week, featuring chocolates with fruit inclusions as well as chocolate(s) with naturally occurring fruit flavors. 

Today's Organic "Born Fruity" bar was created by TCHO Ventures Inc. (Berkeley, CA), using fair trade certified cacao from Peru.

This package of three filled bars was part of a line of new "fair and square" bars with new packaging. Each square package that once housed 1 larger square bar, is now occupied by three, individually wrapped, rectangular bars. The bars are made with, you guessed it, fair trade certified cacao.

The aroma and flavor of this bold, dense dark chocolate (72% cacao external shell) had a slight earthiness, that gave it a slightly darker taste. 

The inside filling (just a little softer than the outer dark shell) was, by contrast, slightly sweeter, brighter, fruitier (sweet red berry, hibiscus), and a bit "juicier"-- with a very faint hint of coconut. 

I liked the subtle flavor shifts, and not having an ultra-sweet filling (or shell). These qualities may even cue people to slow down and consume this chocolate more mindfully. 

I enjoyed the layered flavors, that mirrored natural cacao notes, and the balanced hint of fruit acidity amidst deep cocoa taste. It was one of my favorite TCHO filled bars from the company's new, re-engineered, organic, all plant-based family.

Maker's tasting notes: "From Peru. The birthplace of cacao. Deep fruit notes; sweet and crisp finish."

Ingredients: Organic and fair trade certified cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic and fair trade certified cacao butter, organic coconut oil, organic sunflower lecithin.

Allergen-related information: "May contain soy, milk, and other tree nuts."



Thursday, May 26, 2022

Dick Taylor - Microbatch No. 42 - 70% Dark Chocolate Black Currant & Orange (bar) - May 26, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate
Microbatch No. 42 - 70% Dark Chocolate Black Currant and Orange
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Dick Taylor, online order 

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

Today's Microbatch No. 42 - 70% Dark Chocolate Black Currant and Orange bar was created by Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate (Eureka, CA).

Tasting this bar was a refreshing deep dive into the chocolate flavor pool. The opposite of a bland, chocolate and sugar bar. It began with the aroma. This 70% cacao dark chocolate had a rich aroma of dried fruit (prunes, dark berries with faint citrus) notes.

The dark chocolate (tasted slightly darker than 70% cacao and) had rich fruity dark chocolate, sweet-tart, dried dark berry/currant and (balanced, undulating, authentic, fresh orange) citrus tones. 

These notes were amplified by (or at least harmonized with) the naturally occurring cacao flavors in the Madagascar and Belize cacao blend used to make the chocolate. (Madagascar cacao is known for berry and citrus notes.)

The best chocolate and fruit blends I've tasted use fruits that complement naturally occurring cacao notes, high-quality, often single origin cacao beans, and high-end, specialty fruit. The quality of the "...generous sprinkling of tart, chewy black currants from Washington" (and orange essential oil) included in this four-ingredient bar were exceptional. 

The wake-me-up, tart sweet chocolate flavors lingered a bit into a pleasing finish.

If there is a heaven where we're still allowed to experience earthly pleasures (like great chocolate), I'm hoping today's Dick Taylor bar (and other bars from this maker) will be on the menu. (Note: If you like the bolder fruit flavors in this bar, do try the Dick Taylor Black Fig bar as well.)

Sad to say, this small batch (monthly microbatch flavor) chocolate bar is already sold out. I'm hoping it will return soon.

Ingredients: Organic cacao, organic cane sugar, organic black currant, organic orange essential oil.

Allergen-related information: "Made in a facility that also processes milk, wheat, dairy, tree nuts, and peanuts."

Exquisito Chocolates - Guava chocolate - May 25, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Exquisito Chocolates
Guava (filled chocolate)
Good +
Weight: .5 oz. (14.1 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) (estimate) in 6-piece assortment box
Calories: 77 calories (estimate) in 1 piece
Cost: $21.00 for a 6-piece assortment box 
Purchased from: Exquisito Chocolates, online order

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Fruit Theme Week. 

Today's Guava chocolate was from Exquisito Chocolates (Little Havana, Miami, FL). It was one flavor in a 6-piece Artisan Collection assortment box.

The filling in this festively-painted (red) dark chocolate was smooth, almost velvety. This flavorful dark chocolate center was infused with fully incorporated fruit--Florida-grown guava--that contributed a very subtle, diffuse bright fruitiness.

Guavas likely originated in Central and South America--where cacao trees first developed. Today, guava fruit is commercially grown primarily in Florida, Hawaii and California in the U.S. 

I'm hoping to (one day) enjoy guavas from the two small guava trees in my back yard in Northern California. 

In the meantime, I enjoyed this chocolate and the highly edible fuschia and pale pink flowers on my pineapple guava species. (Most other guava flowers are white.) Pineapple guava flowers have a mild, sweet tropical fruit punch flavor. 

Ingredients: (Not listed on box)

Allergen-related information: (Not listed on box)

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Exquisito Chocolates - 73% Gettin' Nibby Wit It (bar) - May 24, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Exquisito Chocolates 
73% Gettin' Nibby Wit It (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in total bar
Calories: 194 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Exquisito Chocolates, online order

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and The Sea Theme Week, featuring chocolates with sea salt and/or other maritime-related items.

Today's 73% Gettin' Nibby Wit It (bar) was from Exquisito Chocolates (Little Havana, Miami, FL).

The dark bar was wrapped in festive maritime packaging--white paper outer wrapper with "cartoon" crabs with claws raised, in a flamenco-style, castanet-wielding dance pose. I've seen crabs doing this--maybe dancing, but usually when defending themselves against an octopus or other potential predators.) 

This bar had a very subtle dark chocolate aroma, but nice textural contrast between the smooth dark chocolate and the high-quality, crunchy, slightly nutty, cocoa nibs.

Like the last few Exquisito bars, this bar also paired with with sea salted items (roasted almonds, tamari, nori), and had a very faint "perfume" finish. 

Ingredients: Cacao beans, unrefined cane sugar, cocoa butter

Allergen-related information: (None listed on package; check website.)


Monday, May 23, 2022

Exquisito Chocolates - Produits Des Iles SA, Haiti 73% bar - May 23, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Exquisito Chocolates
73% Haiti Organic - Produits Des Iles SA (Haiti) bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 194 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Exquisito Chocolates, online order 

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and The Sea Theme Week, involving for the most part chocolates with varying forms of sea salt, and sometimes other marine-related elements.

Today's 73% Haiti Organic Produits Des Iles SA (bar) was from Exquisito Chocolates (Little Havana, Miami, FL). The company offers a range of bars and confections and makes bean-to-bar, and single origin chocolate.

This bar was wrapped in a maritime-themed red paper with navy (boat) anchors. The packaging relates to an origin story that is close to the sea. The cacao was grown on a Caribbean Sea island nation (Haiti) and was made--not that far away by chocolate making standards--in southern Florida, close to the Atlantic Ocean/Biscayne Bay.*

The subtle aroma of this bar was one of dark, sweet chocolate. The melt was even and texture was smooth. The taste was uniform with balanced dark flavor. The cacao used to make this bar was from Produits des Iles SA (PISA), a Haiti food products company that supplies cacao to several specialty chocolate makers.

I ate this bar with a Japanese style (savory) "breakfast" that included a small side dish of roasted almonds, nori (seaweed) and sea salt. I found this savory, sea-related pairing brought out a subtle fruitiness in the dark chocolate that was not noticeable when the dark chocolate was tasted alone. (When tasted alone, the chocolate had a faint earth note, but not bright, diffuse sweet-tart fruit--that arguably was a sweet-salt contrast effect.)

Ingredients: Cacao beans, unrefined cane sugar, cocoa butter

Allergen-related information: (No information listed on package.)

*Arguably, Exquisito Chocolates (Little Havana, Miami, FL) is one of the closest U.S. bean-to-bar chocolate makers to Caribbean cacao growing nations.

Exquisito Chocolates - "Don't Be Salty" 73% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt (bar) - May 22, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Exquisito Chocolates
"Don't Be Salty" - 73% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 194 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Exquisito Chocolates, online order 

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and The Sea Theme Week.

Today's "Don't Be Salty" 73% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt (bar) was from Exquisito Chocolates (Little Havana, Miami, FL). The company offers a range of bars and confections and makes bean-to-bar, and single origin chocolate.

Wrapped in white paper with "cartoon" black mustaches, this chocolate had a fun look. It was made in Miami--an important port city in the southeastern U.S. where the Miami River empties into Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Today's salt-forward bar had a relatively uniform sweet, dark chocolate aroma with very faint salt caramel notes. A generous sprinkle of sea salt resulted in a fairly salty dark chocolate flavor, that also balanced the sweetness. 

Ingredients: Cacao beans, unrefined cane sugar, cocoa butter, sea salt

Allergen-related information: (No information listed on package.)

Exquisito Chocolates - Sea Salt Caramels - May 21, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Exquisito Chocolates
Sea Salt Caramels
Good + 
Weight: .975 oz. (27.5 g.) / 3.9 oz. (110 g.) (estimate) in total box of 8 caramels
Calories: 151 calories (estimate) in 2 caramels
Cost: $20.00 for 1 box of 8 caramels
Purchased from: Exquisito Chocolates, online order 

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and The Sea Theme Week.

Today's Sea Salt Caramels were from Exquisito Chocolates (Little Havana, Miami, FL). The company offers a range of bars and confections and makes bean-to-bar, and single origin, "farm to table" chocolates.

I was a bit of a sugar hunter when young. (Less so now.) Trips to the beach included childhood memories of sea salted confections--primarily a wonderful range of salt water taffy flavors, and salt caramels. 

Today's sea salt caramels had an aroma with faint, sweet chocolate and caramel notes.
The caramel filling had a creamy melt and an almost fluffy soft, slightly flowing caramel chew, and very sweet caramel taste. 

The soft, velvety sweet caramel was enrobed in 73% cacao dark chocolate; and this dark chocolate added richness and depth. Tiny crystals of sea salt helped provide balance and contrast to the sweetness.

Ingredients: (Information taken from Exquisito website) "Cacao, unrefined cane sugar, cocoa butter, cream, butter, evaporated milk, glucose." 

Allergen-related information: (Information from Exquisito website) "Contains cow's milk. Processed in a facility that also processes milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...