Esmeraldas Milk 42% bar
Weight: 2.46 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 399 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
Bienvenidos al primer dia de Chocolate y Ecuador semana. (Welcome to the first day of Chocolate and Ecuador Theme Week!)
Today's bar was made from cacao beans that hailed from the Pacific Rainforest in the Esmeraldas Province of northwestern Ecuador.
The Esmeraldas Milk 42% bar from Original Beans (Amsterdam, Netherlands) was actually made in Switzerland, a country where they know a thing or two about conching chocolate until it's rich, creamy and smooth. (In this case, the cocoa mass (ground cacao beans), was conched for 16 hours.)
When I first broke off a piece of this bar, I could smell the aroma of freshly roasted cacao beans. What followed was a velvety smooth bar with complex almost burnt caramel flavor, slightly bitter but well balanced with other flavor notes. I didn't taste a lot of bright red fruit, but there were "summer fruit" notes in this bar. All in all this flavorful, Certified Organic, Gluten Free and Vegan milk chocolate bar was remarkably easy to finish.
Original Beans, the company, also helps to replant trees and encourage sustainable practices.