Monday, April 7, 2014

Stirs the Soul - Orange Goji bar - April 7, 2014

Chocolate of the Day:

Stirs the Soul
Orange Goji Chocolate bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) total bar
Calories: 160 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #7 of Chocolate and Orange Theme Week.

This all raw, Orange Goji Chocolate bar from Stirs the Soul (Portland, OR) was lightly sweetened (with dried dates). Goji berries, orange and ginger added subtle flavor. I was delighted that this bar wasn't overly sweet.

The bar was made with stone-ground, unroasted Criollo and Trinitario cacao beans. (Stirs the Soul is one of the few "raw" chocolate vendors that grind their own beans.) Stirs the Soul raw chocolate alchemist, Daren Hayes, also buys cacao that is "Fairly Traded and Sustainably Grown."

To ensure that the raw chocolate maintains nutrients, the company maintains temperatures below 111 degrees (F), during the making of bars; and even below that mark apparently for tempering.

Given the finicky nature of tempering chocolate (a good "temper" has traditionally meant that a bar yields with a bit of a "snap" when broken), the consistency of the bar was quite good.

Added cocoa butter helped give this 82% cacao bar a very smooth mouthfeel. The flavors were very mild for an 82% cacao bar -- a characteristic some will like. Some of this may have been due to less roasting at higher temperatures. I would have enjoyed tasting a bit more of the cacao flavor and the flavor additions.

Great news for those with allergies...The company maintains what it calls an "Allergy Compassionate" environment. Chocolate bars are "made and packaged in a dairy, egg, peanut, tree-nut (except coconut), soy and gluten-free facility."

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