Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ritual Chocolate - Balao 75 percent sample - August 25, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Balao 75% (Ecuador)
Weight: .3 oz. (8.5 g.) (estimate) for 1 sample packet
Calories: 45 calories (estimate) for 1 packet
Cost: N/A - sample packet
Purchased from: N/A - sample packet

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Ecuador Theme Week.

I love the naturally occurring floral flavor notes in cacao from Ecuador. This Balao 75 percent sample, crafted with cacao from the Camino Verde farm in Ecuador, by Ritual Chocolate (Denver, CO), had it.

Today's dark chocolate wafer-thin sample round, the perfect shape and thickness for accessing/tasting flavors, was quite mild otherwise, and had a delicious almost buttery smoothness and melt.

Dark chocolate bars with only two or three ingredients -- this one was made with cacao and organic cane sugar, that's it -- spotlight a chocolate makers skills (or inexperience) like nothing else. There is nowhere to hide if the ferment or the temper went awry. Happily, this chocolate just left me full of appreciation. Some may like a more robust flavor profile and there are plenty of other dark bars that would be happy to oblige; however, floral notes, should they be present, will most likely be lost with these chocolate bars.

Pictured at right is the official Balao 75 percent bar available online, from www.ritualchocolate.com.

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