Piura Dark Milk bar
Weight: 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 348 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $13.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
Today was Day #6 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.
Alan "Patric" McClure's painstaking hand-sorting, and careful slow-roasting, of cocoa beans pays off. His single origin, blended and flavored bars are some of the best in the U.S.
Blending cacao with milk, sugar, emulsifiers, vanilla and other added ingredients can dilute or dull cacao flavors substantially. But, today's Piura* Dark Milk chocolate bar from Patric Chocolate (Columbia, MO) was a good example of a milk chocolate bar that can maintain a great flavor profile.
This carefully crafted "dark milk chocolate" bar had even and consistent caramel and sea-salted toffee notes throughout, and was buttery smooth. The slightly bitter flavor that I seemed to taste in most of the dark chocolate Peru bars this week, was instead more similar to "ruby red grapefruit" in this bar, as the tasting notes indicated.
*Piura is a coastal region in northwest Peru, one of several areas of the country where cacao is grown. (The capital city of Piura was founded by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro in 1532.) Prized, white Porcelana cacao beans come from a valley in the Piura region. These cacao trees/beans were "re-discovered" this century and are being replanted elsewhere in the past several years as demand for fine-flavored cacao has continued to increase.