Antidote Chocolate (Tripple Red Corp)
Mango Juniper bar
Weight: .92 oz. (26 g.) in 4 squares / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) total bar
Calories: 160 calories in 4 squares
Cost: N/A - sample
Purchased from: N/A - sample, The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
In the world of chocolate, bold flavor experiments yield surprising, and often delightful results. Today's Antidote Chocolate Mango Juniper dark chocolate (84% cacao) bar held promise in this category.
I braced myself after seeing the tasting notes inscribed on the bar packaging. "Potent and aromatic" the description read. On the back of this package was a reference to the Greek goddess, Hybris. Known for her pride and insolence, the goddess was also cited as "the Antidote to fear and timidity."
Despite this build-up, this chocolate was balanced and interesting, and nothing to fear. Each small rectangle of mango embedded in this dark bar sparkled with fresh, authentic and sweet flavor. The juniper berries were surprisingly restrained. Juniper must be a challenging ingredient to incorporate. Its woodsy, spicy, and pine-like qualities call for a great mixologist with good instincts and a steady hand. (I've been delightfully surprised by chocolates made with Douglas Fir (Douglas Fir truffle from Soma Chocolatemaker), Spruce and other tree-related ingredients in the past, and am always interested in new plant-based creations.)
Today's vegan and gluten free dark chocolate bar was relatively subtle for an 84% cacao bar. The mild, almost flat cacao profile (common with raw chocolate) allowed the flavor additions to poke through nicely. Part of this subtle, lower-acid, only slightly bitter profile was due to the 50/50 blend of raw + roasted "Arriba" cacao beans (from certified organic farms) in Ecuador. The inclusion of some roasted beans helped elevate and balance the flavor a bit, while preserving what I presume are higher levels of antioxidants and "raw nutrients" present with beans not exposed to higher temperatures.
The Creative Talent...
Hats off to "austrian chocolate empress" Ms. Red R. Thalhammer, and her team, for creating fearless and surprising flavor blends. Yesterday's rose salt + lemon bar was quite nice, and I look forward to trying more Antidote bars in the future.
Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Surprise Me Theme Week.