Monday, May 20, 2019

Ritual Chocolate - Novo Coffee Anyetsu 60% bar - May 19, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Novo Coffee Anyetsu 60% Cacao bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Miette, Oakland, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Novo Coffee Anyetsu 60% bar was made by Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT).

This Novo Coffee bar had a bold roasted coffee aroma, smooth melt and relatively creamy texture.

The chocolate (a dark, multi-origin blend) had strong dark chocolate and fresh ground coffee* flavor.

For those wanting to experience more vanilla with your chocolate and coffee, Ritual also offers a great Vanilla (Madagascar) dark chocolate bar (featured previously on this site)—and a Vanilla Mocha truffle (part of their current spring 2019 assortment).

*Makers notes: "Novo Coffee's Anyetu is a sun-dried coffee from Wellega, Ethiopia. This ripe berry and floral coffee is paired with a balanced chocolate made from a blend of cacao sourced from several farms around the world."





Saturday, May 18, 2019

JonnyPops - Cold Press Coffee, Chocolate and Cream Pops - May 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

JonnyPops LLC
Coffee Chocolate and Cream pops
Good ++
Weight: 1.55 fl. oz. (45.8 g.) / 9.3 fl. oz. (275 g.) in total box of 6 junior pops
Calories: 90 calories in 1 junior pop
Cost: $3.39 (estimate) for 1 box of 6 junior pops
Purchased from: Piazza's Fine Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Coffee Chocolate and Cream Pops were from JonnyPops LLC (St. Louis Park/Minneapolis, MN).

The company, founded by four Minnesota college students, offers a variety of fruit and cream, and chocolate and cream, flavors in their frozen treat line. The founders are committed to a simple ingredient list and avoiding artificial ingredients in their pops.

Made with cold press coffee made at their manufacturing facility (cold press coffee is the first ingredient listed) and real (heavy) cream, today's cream pops were in fact creamy smooth and rich with authentic mocha latte flavor in every bite. A hint of vanilla helped give these a light and sweet flavor without being too sugary.

JonnyPop's frozen treats are gluten-free, kosher certified and peanut-free. (Products are made in a peanut-free facility and, other than coconut in some flavors, these cream pops are nut-free as well.)

These cream bars were "junior"* pop size, which were great if you just want a smidge of tasty, creamy fun without spoiling your appetite for dinner.

After the pop is eaten, you'll find a good deed oriented message printed on each stick. Co-founder and CEO Eric Brust is quoted as saying: "We believe that every act of kindness—no matter how big or small—goes a long way." (We appreciate that sentiment.)

*It's not clear if this smaller, junior pop, size is still available in stores. All other (standard-sized) flavors we saw came packaged 3 to a box.







Donnelly Chocolates - Almond Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich, Dark Chocolate Coffee Caramel - May 17, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Donnelly Chocolates

Dark Chocolate Coffee Caramel (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in 1 large piece
Calories: unknown
Cost: $6.00 for 1 large caramel

Dark Chocolate with Vanilla Ice Cream Almonds (ice cream bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: unknown
Calories: unknown
Cost: $6.00 for 1 ice cream bar
Purchased from: Donnelly Chocolates, Santa Cruz, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate, Coffee and Vanilla Theme Week. The hunt for these three flavors led to Santa Cruz, CA.

Today's mini-bar sized Dark Chocolate Coffee Caramel and Dark Chocolate Vanilla Ice Cream and Almonds ice cream bar were created by Donnelly Chocolates (Santa Cruz, CA).

Thank you to Nick for counter assistance at Donnelly's and help in finding and selecting these two deluxe-sized chocolate, coffee and vanilla offerings, also known as dinner.

The Dark Chocolate Caramel bar was filled with everything you'd expect to find. The coffee flavor harmonized well with the dark chocolate, and the soft, caramel filling. The coffee helped balance the sweetness.

Now, on to the next course in this chocolate dinner. The vanilla ice cream in this Dark Chocolate Vanilla Almonds ice cream bar was from Marianne's Ice Cream (another local Santa Cruz, CA, sweets favorite). This tasty bar was a satisfying, cut above your standard store-bought ice cream bar for sure.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Chapon Chocolatier - Dark Chocolate Venezuela bar - May 16, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chapon Chocolatier
(aka Chocolat Chapon)
Chocolat Noir D'Origine Venezuela (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 1.325 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 208 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.

This morning's Chocolat Noir (Dark Chocolate) (D'Origine) Venezuela bar was from Chapon Chocolatier (Chelles, France with shops in Paris). Chapon is the creation of Patric Chapon.*

In addition to cocoa mass (from Venezuela), cocoa butter and cane sugar, this chocolate bar also contained a barely-there hint of Guerande sea salt.

This bar had a subtle chocolatey aroma and balanced forest floor/earth and light spice notes.
It had a smooth, almost creamy melt and texture and smooth dark chocolate flavor with a hint of nuttiness.

The chocolatier's notes read: "Tres belle couleur acajou, parfum de sous-bois, fueilles morte a l'automne, texture fondante, gout de fruits des bois, fruits rouges."

Translated from French into English (apologies for any errors) this means: Very beautiful mahogony color, aroma of forest floor (leaves, mushroom), autumn leaves, fondante texture, taste of wild forest fruits (berries), red fruits."

Both Chapon Venezuela bars this week (yesterday's robust Rio Caribe Venezuela 100 percent bar, and today's Venezuela (no percent given) bar) were attractive. They both had a glossy sheen and were well tempered (broke with a snap).

And when using the term attractive, it's impossible not to speak about Chapon's wonderful packaging design imagery. Both bars incorporated (different) vintage fantasy landscape elements evoking exotic places. Yesterday it was pink flamingos in the tropics against a pink sunset. Today, it was a tall, majestic bamboo temple in a lush, vertical jungle...all printed on a robustly sealed silver, but easy to open, pouch.

*Translated from French into English (again, apologies for any translation errors) was this message from Patrice Chapon printed on the back of today's bar: 

"I love above all things to work with chocolate, and beware of the word passion. Chocolate occupies a prime place in the gourmet landscape. The chocolate bar embodies a dream of a desire, within each square piece. With this bar, I'm looking to nourish childhood memories more than just the appetite."




Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Chapon Chocolatier - Rio Caribe Venezuela 100% bar - May 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chapon Chocolatier
Pure Origin Rio Caribe, Venezuela 100% cocoa bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.325 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 208 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

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

Today's Pure Origin Rio Caribe Venezuela 100% bar was from Chapon Chocolatier (Chelles and Paris, France).


This bar had a bold, intriguing aroma with dried, fermented fruit, roasted coffee, light earthy forest and light nutty notes. The melt and texture were creamy.

And, surprisingly, the acid (and acidic fruit) levels was lower than expected and the flavor was balanced and satisfying, incorporating many of the same notes as were in the aroma (roasted coffee, light kindling wood. It was a very smooth,  deep, still and slightly bitter chocolate. With no added sweet (thank you for making this!).

The chocolatier's tasting notes read as follows: "Aromatic power, low acidity, bitterness and astringency medium. From Venezuela, this bar of chocolate reveals notes of dried fruits and wood."

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Rozsavolgyi Csokolade - Porcelana cacao criollo Venezuela bar - May 14, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Rozsavolgyi Csokolade
Porcelana cacao criollo Venezuela 71% 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: $20.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

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

Today's Porcelana criollo cacao Venezuela 71% bar was from Rozsavolgyi Csokolade (Budapest, Hungary).

This three-ingredient* bar had a pleasing, balanced, complex yet rather delicate, dark aroma with a very faint brown butter note. The flavor had chocolate, light fruit (peach, champagne grape, light berry) and earthy, forest floor notes.

Earthiness is a tough flavor element to manage, and the presence of this note often goes back to fermentation (which the maker may not have been present for). Too much earth is too much, but this was handled quite nicely.

*Ingredients: cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter

Monday, May 13, 2019

Fresco - Limited Release Carupano Pintao Venezuela 72 percent bar - May 13, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Fresco Artisan Chocolate
Limited Release Carupano Pintao Venezuela 72% bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .9 oz. (25 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50 g.) (estimate) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $16.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

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

At the beginning of this theme week, we talked about the potentially short lives of craft chocolate bars based on annual harvests (similar to wine) at smaller plantations and possible fluctuating circumstances in source countries themselves. Bars made from a small batch or harvest that are here today may be unavailable tomorrow. Makers successfully obtain a small batch of great cacao beans, but after that quantity is used up, that may be it.

Today's Limited Release Carupano Pintao Venezuela 72 percent bar was from Fresco Artisan Chocolate (Lynden, WA). The cacao for this bar was lightly roasted and had a "subtle conch."

The chocolate had a pleasant chocolate aroma with dried fruit, browned butter, very light spice and very faint green notes. The flavor was chocolatey with dried fruit and some earthiness.

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