Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Stirs the Soul - Chai bar - July 3, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Stirs the Soul
Spiced Chai and Currant Chocolate (bar)
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.79 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Sweetened with raw, dried dates, today's Spiced Chai and Currant* Chocolate bar, from bean-to-bar maker, Stirs the Soul (Portland, OR), was made with stone-ground raw (82% cacao) chocolate, that was also fairly traded, and sustainably grown, as well as cacao butter and chai spices (cardamon, star anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper).

The bar was creamy smooth (added cocoa butter helped achieve this consistency), and the spices were pleasing, authentic (chai tea) tasting, and fairly mild.

And, best of all, this bar was not too sweet. I always prefer bars and truffles where the maker has exercised some restraint in this area. Too much sugar overpowers some of the subtle flavor complexities of other components in a bar (or confection). But, I suspect I will continue to feel the world is over-sweetened, as so many more people love a generous dollop of sugar with their desserts and their chocolate.

Why raw chocolate? Nutrient content can often be maintained if chocolate is not heated to a higher temperature during the chocolate making process. Temperature limits vary with different makers (often between 110 and 120 degrees Farenheit). Stirs the Soul controls the cacao grinding process so that temperature does not exceed 111 degrees (F.).

Good news for those with allergies. This bar was made in an dairy, egg, peanut, tree nut (except coconut), soy and gluten-free facility.

*Note: I didn't see currants listed as an ingredient in this bar, but it does appear in the name of the bar.  I can see why. The fruit bits embedded in this bar taste more like currants than dates.

Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Chai Theme Week. 

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