Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fruition Chocolate - Milk Fleur de Sel bar - November 18, 2012

Chocolate of the Day:

Fruition Chocolate
Dark Milk Chocolate with Fleur de Sel (bar)
Good + - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2.11 oz. (60 g.) total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1 oz. (28.3 g.) serving
Cost: $6.67 (approximate subscription cost per bar)
Purchased from: Standard Cocoa, New York, NY

Today's chocolate was a Dark Milk Chocolate bar with Fleur de Sel from bean-to-bar maker, Fruition Chocolate (Shokan, NY). This dark milk (56%) bar, made from Peru cacao, was a good choice for Day #7 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Sea Salt Theme Week.

The fleur de sel (salt), and perhaps the whole milk powder, in this bar seemed to nicely soften out or balance some of the acidity I've tasted in other Fruition chocolate bars.

Acidity is a very general term. Some is needed to make fine chocolate interesting, but a high acid level can overwhelm other natural flavor notes. Like many craft or artisan foods and beverages, especially where fermentation and drying and/or roasting processes have occurred, care must be taken; and many wonderful, and occasionally surprising, results are possible. Combine chocolates with other complex food and drink, and you multiply the possibility of interesting interactions.

Thankfully, Bryan Graham, the force behind the small batch workshop in the Catskill Mountains of New York that is Fruition Chocolate, pays attention to slow roasting and stone grinding of small batches of beans. While other notes may occasionally take a back seat when milk and salt are added, this bar is well balanced.

Monique's - Peru truffle, drink - November 17, 2012

Chocolate of the Day:

Monique's Chocolates
1.) Peru truffle
Good +
Weight: .48 oz.  (13.5 g.) (estimate) for 1 truffle
Calories: 75 calories (estimate) for 1 truffle
Cost: $2.00 (estimate) for 1 piece
Purchased from: Monique's Chocolates, Palo Alto, CA

2.) Liquid Chocolate made with Peru chocolate
Very Good
Weight: 6 oz. cup (estimate)
Calories: 150 calories (estimate)
Cost: $4.00 for 1 cup
Purchased from: Monique's Chocolates, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week. And, it was a great, Peru-inspired day. My quest for new chocolates frequently allows me to travel to different parts of the globe, without leaving home to do so.

Earlier in the day, I took a hike in the hills, and photographed a tule boat building workshop (and paddled around in a finished boat at the end). While these boats (example pictured above right) were native to California, one might see similar boats on Lakes in Peru.

On the way home from the tule boat workshop, I enjoyed a nice Peruvian dinner at Estampas Peruanas restaurant (Redwood City, CA) that included a refreshing deep purple glass of chicha morada (a non-alcoholic drink made from purple corn and usually topped with diced apple, pineapple or other fruit). Their postres (desserts) looked delicious. I took home some rice pudding and mazamorra morada (Peruvian purple corn pudding, similar to the purple drink described above, only in thicker form), layered the two desserts in a glass, and topped with a sprinkle of Peruvian cocoa nibs for a dessert deluxe.

And, last, but certainly not least, I stopped at Monique's Chocolates (Palo Alto, CA) for Peruvian chocolate. Mark West at Monique's specializes in single origin truffles from various countries. He also makes specialty confections and very nice drinking, or liquid chocolate (served hot or cold, your choice). I enjoyed a Peru truffle and a cup of iced liquid chocolate made from Peru chocolate and 1% milk.

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