Thursday, April 18, 2019

Antidote Chocolate - Almond + Fennel 73% (bar) - Apr. 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Antidote Chocolate
Artemis: Almond + Fennel 73% slow roasted cacao (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Plants and Herbs Theme Week.

Today's Artemis: Almond + Fennel 73% slow roasted cacao bar was from Antidote Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY).

The chocolate (made with slow roasted Arriba Nacional cacao) had a deeper, darker flavor than most 70ish-percent bars.

Almond pieces gave this dark chocolate a slightly nutty aroma and flavor. And the sprinkle of fennel seeds gave this dark chocolate a faint savory herb aroma and crunchy, seedy texture.

By comparison, in yesterday's bar fennel was incorporated into a date filling, and had a sweeter, more prominent licorice flavor. For those that don't care as much for licorice, the more subtle fennel flavor in these seeds might be more to your liking.

Shown at left is a fennel plant with green fronds sprouting in the spring. Fennel is an edible plant (bulb, shoots and seeds) that looks like dill and the new green fronds taste quite sweet with a strong licorice flavor.






Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Mirzam Chocolate Makers - 62% Dark Chocolate with Dates and Fennel (bar) - Apr. 17, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mirzam Chocolate Makers
62% Dark Chocolate with Dates and Fennel (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 1.235 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 185 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 (if turquoise dot) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Plants and Herbs Theme Week.

Today's 62% Dark Chocolate with Dates and Fennel (bar) was from Mirzam Chocolate Makers and Kakaw Manufacturing (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

The structure of this bar—an impossibly thin layer of fennel infused date paste, sandwiched between ultra-thin layers of dark chocolate—allowed for beautiful bursts of rich, sweet, bright, fresh flavors. (A fresh salad tastes brighter and tastier than a fresh salad homogenized in a blender.)

Using this thin layering technique, flavors were made very accessible in this slim bar. And careful crafting of said flavors resulted in maximum taste without any one flavor overwhelming the other.

What was the inspiration for this chocolate? Mirzam* Chocolate, the brand, was created a few years ago with next year's Expo 2020 in mind. (This large, global exposition is planned to be hosted by Dubai, UAE, next year.) Dates would certainly have been discussed from the beginning.

Flavors and inclusions in several Mirzam high-end craft chocolate offerings were informed by spices and foodstuffs found on ancient maritime Arab spice trade routes.

Fennel, full of mild, sweet, licorice flavor, would have been available in nearby Mediterranean regions. It grows well on other continents now too. It's bright green fronds are popping up in backyards and baylands in the San Francisco Bay Area this spring. Every part of this plant (frond/green, bulb, seed, stalks, etc.) is edible.

*Mirzam is a pulsating giant star located in the Canis Major constellation.






Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Elements Truffles - Maple Toffee Crunch infused with Moringa - April 16, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Elements Truffles
Maple Toffee Crunch infused with Moringa (bar)
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories in 1 serving (per label)
Cost: $3.39 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate, Plant and Herb Theme Week.

Maple Toffee Crunch infused with Moringa from Elements Truffles (Kearny, NJ)

The aroma was mild and pleasant, as was the tasting experience. The unwrapped bar displayed an intriguing constellation of inclusion bits on the back side.

This 70% cacao bar was made from cacao sourced from Ecuador and had a creamy melt. (In very cold weather, you might notice the melt is slightly waxy, as the number one ingredient is cocoa butter—not a bad thing.) The flavors were mild (muted somewhat by the cocoa butter).

As with other bars from this same company, it felt very balanced and relaxing. Their bars are slightly lower in cocoa solids (that contain the stimulant portion of cacao) than some other bars and lack refined sugar. (Bars are, instead, lightly sweetened with honey and, in today's case, also with a bit of organic maple syrup.) The organic powdered moringa* was very subtle, and would have been hard to pick out in a blind taste test.

This Ayurveda-inspired chocolate made me feel more serene than hyped up. I feel I could meditate or enjoy a peaceful conversation or walk after this company's chocolate. Again, a good thing, in a world that can often feel too hectic or busy.

*Moringa (Moringa oleifera) comes from the Moringa tree native to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and is cultivated in Asia and Africa. Moringa has been used for medicinal purposes. (It has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and other properties.) The pods, seeds, leaves and roots are all edible.

Only Child Chocolate - Ginger and Rosemary Walk into a Bar - Apr. 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Only Child Chocolate Co.
Rosemary and Ginger Walk into a Bar (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: .85 oz. (24 g.) / 1.7 oz. (48 g.) in total bar
Calories: 127.5 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #18 of Chocolate and Spices Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate, Plants and Herbs Theme Week.

Today's Rosemary and Ginger Walk into a Bar (bar) was from Only Child Chocolate Co. (Portland, OR). Company founder, Yana, grew up as an only child in Moscow. And, via Chicago, eventually made her way to Portland. After pastry-making and bakery experience, she started her own chocolate company.

The title of today's bar was a clever pun. (It's tax day in the U.S., and a bit of humor and a spring hike in the green hills brightened this day.) And how did this milk chocolate bar with rosemary and candied ginger taste?

This thick, sweet milk chocolate bar had a minty, spicy aroma, and smooth, creamy melt.

The two inclusions played nicely together. The balanced, subtle and natural rosemary flavor was fun. And the ginger added warmth and a light spiciness without being overwhelming.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Casper's - Fat Boy Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear Sundae - April 14, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Casper's Ice Cream
Fat Boy - Chocolate Covered Cinnamon Bear Sundae (on a stick)
Good
Weight: 4 fl. oz. (118 mL) (69 g.) / 20 fl. oz. (591 mL) in total package/box of 5 bars
Calories: 210 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #17 of Chocolate and Spice Theme Week.

Today's Fat Boy Cinnamon Bear Sundae—a chocolate covered cinnamon ice cream (with cinnamon bear swirl) bar on a stick—was from Casper's Ice Cream (Richmond, UT), a large family-owned business that makes ice cream and frozen treats.

We are nothing if not creative. Americans have found many ways to shove edible items onto a stick. This includes a wide range of tasty frozen dessert items.

Including cinnamon swirls named after gummy bears (think Red Hots* cinnamon candy, only softer) into a "fat" ice cream sundae on a stick bar was clever. (We may not have many bears left in the U.S., but we have herds of gummy bears and other animal-shaped treats.)

*Red Hots are cinnamon-flavored red candies (sometimes called cinnamon imperials) produced by the Ferrara Pan Candy Company (Oakbrood Terrace, IL). Many similar candies are flavored with a substance found in cinnamon bark that gives the candy a slightly hot (spicy) flavor.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mirzam Chocolate - 62% Dark Chocolate with Orange and Cinnamon bar - April 13, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mirzam Chocolate
62% Dark Chocolate with Orange and Cinnamon bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.235 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 186 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #16 of Chocolate and Spice Theme Week.

Note: Due to the seemingly abundant supply new chocolates available in the universe, we're once again altering time and space a bit to accommodate an 18-day chocolate theme "week." Yes, we know there are only 7 days in a regular, boring week. We hope you'll forgive us.

Today's 62% Dark Chocolate with Orange and Cinnamon bar was crafted in Dubai by www.mirzam.com (Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)), part of Kakaw Manufacturing Co. LLC (a food and beverages importer in UAE).

Kathy Johnston, Mirzam's chief chocolate officer, helped launch the Mirzam Craft Chocolate factory (in 2016) in Dubai's Al Serkal Avenue artisan district, while she was also working on her own operation in Switzerland.

The company has sourced cacao from plantations that are "ideally" on ancient Arab trading and spice routes (which were quite widespread globally, including locations such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Madagascar, India and Papua New Guinea). And inclusions in the company's line of bars include local items such as dates/date syrup.

The Mirzam story tagline is a romantic one: "Following the celestial map of the maritime spice route to gather stories of spices and sea monsters."

*Mirzam is the name of a bright star in the constellation Canis Major.



Friday, April 12, 2019

Chocolat Moderne - Pumpkin Pie Spice bar - April 12, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolat Moderne
Holiday Avant-Garde Bar - Milk Chocolate Caramel with Organic Pumpkin Puree and Pie Spices
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 187 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $5.00 (sale) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #15 of Chocolate and Spice Theme Week.

Today's Holiday Avant-Garde Bar - Milk Chocolate Caramel with Organic Pumpkin Puree and Pie Spices was created by Chocolat Moderne (New York, NY).

The thickness of this bar might be off-putting if it were solid chocolate. However, the milk chocolate was easy to break and bite into, while not being too fragile at the same time. (Nothing messier than caramel filling oozing out.)

This Avant-Garde holiday-inspired filled bar had a light spice and nutty chocolate aroma. The dark chocolate was smooth and even in flavor.

Hats off to the chocolatier for the caramel filling with authentic pumpkin flavor with light pie spice, and for the this bar not being too sweet (thank you).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...