Sunday, March 3, 2013

Salt and Pepper Bar - March 3, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Trader Joe's
Takes Flight - A Dark Chocolate Tasting Odyssey
Salt and Pepper Potato Chip bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1/2 oz. (14.1 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 77 calories in 1/2 oz. piece of bar
Cost: $9.99 (estimate) for tasting pack of 7 bars
Purchased from: Trader Joe's, Palo Alto, CA

The idea of having a tasting flight of dark chocolates was similar to sampling a series of wines. In a relatively short period of time, one can compare and appreciate differences and similarities, and pick-out favorites.

Chocolate and Tasting Flights

The attractively packaged "Dark Chocolate Tasting Odyssey" from Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA) consisted of 7 bars that could be easily broken up and shared with a group of six or seven people. At 14 oz. (397 g.), this hefty flight of 70% cacao chocolate bars contained several interesting flavor additions and combinations, ranging from the slightly savory Black Sea Salt with Caramel (previously featured on Chocolate Banquet) to the sweet and slightly tangy, floral Orange Hibiscus bar.

The base chocolate (70% cacao) in today's Salt and Pepper Potato Chip bar was smooth, without flaws; but it also lacked remarkable attributes, in part due to being overshadowed by interesting flavors. This bar was punctuated with micro-bursts of salt and black pepper, and small flecks of crunchy potato chips.

Fond Farewell to Umami Week, Hello to Butter Week

Today's Salt and Pepper Potato Chip bar was the second bar with a kiss of salt in this tasting pack, and it was a perfect accompaniment to today's umami burger lunch -- celebrating the last day (sniff, sniff) (Day #9) of Chocolate and Umami or Bacon Theme Week.

As part of (Day #2 of) Chocolate and Butter Theme Week, and in keeping with my preference for small (1.5 - 2 oz.) shotglass desserts and cocktails, I incorporated tiny pieces of this bar into a hot buttered rum, chocolate pirate style. (See below for details.)

Salt and Pepper Pirate

1 Tablespoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon butter
1 pinch salt and pepper, and 1 small pinch truffle salt if desired
.5 oz. (14 g.) Salt and Pepper Potato Chip bar, chopped
2 Tb. milk
2 Tb. hot cocoa/drinking chocolate mix of choice
dash of Allspice

  • Combine all ingredients except butter in small, microwave-proof bowl or ramekin, and stir together. 
  • Heat in microwave on low setting for 10-20 seconds; take out and stir in butter. 
  • Heat for another 5-15 seconds. (Watch carefully, do not let boil over.)
  • Take out of microwave oven. Give the heated mixture one final stir, and pour into a shotglass. 
  • (Rim glass with sea salt and pepper if desired)
  • Enjoy

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