Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nuttyness - Coffee Vanilla bar - March 18, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Nuttyness, LLC
Coffee Vanilla - chocolate covered marzipan bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .83 oz. (23.6 g.) in 1/3 bar / 2.5 oz. (71 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 107 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $ N/A - sample (retail price is approximately $5.99)
Purchased from: N/A - sample

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Vanilla Theme Week, and Day #2 of Chocolate and Espresso Theme Week.

Marzipan is a paste or dough made with finely ground almonds and sugar. The best marzipan confections are neither too syrupy sweet nor too dry and coarse. This marzipan bar was just right for my taste.

But, what elevated this dark chocolate covered bar to a new level wasn't just the marzipan; it was the lovely, layered dark complex tasting experience. Nutty, almost floral, notes shifted to the bold taste of roasted coffee beans and sweet flavor of Madagascar vanilla -- all the while mixing with rich dark chocolate.

The vanilla aroma of this bar reminded me of the best vanilla frosting, or the best vanilla ice cream. In short, using high quality ingredients really does matter.

Origin Stories
The cacao, coffee and vanilla flavors in this bar got their start with fermented seeds and pods, from tropical plants with beautiful fruits and flowers. The almonds to make the marzipan in this bar came from California. The idea for flavored "marzipan with a twist" came from Kristian Salvesen at Nuttyness (Oakland, CA). A childhood Norwegian Christmas (marzipan) tradition melded with life in California and proximity to fresh almonds and ingredients.

Where was the espresso you ask? I enjoyed this Coffee Vanilla marzipan bar with an iced "dirty chai" -- spicy sweet vanilla chai tea with coconut milk and a shot of espresso.

What is espresso? The definition of espresso involves a high pressure brewing style with very hot water and finely ground, compacted coffee. The "expressed" coffee does seem to have a thicker, darker, richer roasted flavor. Coffee that has been roasted longer, and made with a shorter brewing time also has slightly less (not more) caffeine than brewed or drip filtered coffee.

The term espresso roast, however, is apparently a misnomer. Southern Italians may start with a darker roast, but people in other parts of the globe may prefer slightly lighter roasts. In the end, apparently, if coffee is finely ground and made in the espresso brewing style, typically with a machine, anyone can enjoy a cup of beautiful, dark, almost creamy, espresso.

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