Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bissinger's - Chocolate and Almonds bar - June 11, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate and Almonds bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.5 oz. (43 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 240 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $ lost information
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #3 of Chocolate and Almonds Theme Week.

This Chocolate and Almonds bar from Bissinger's (St. Louis, MO) was an attractive bar, with the "B" for Bissinger's elegantly embossed on each square of the bar's front side. On the reverse side, whole California almonds were pressed into a 60% dark chocolate base.

The Bissinger family name has a long history in chocolate. The company had its origins in France (Paris in the 1600s), and was established in in the U.S. in 1845.

The Art of Nuts
Nuts handled well can be heavenly. But, like any flavor addition, care needs to be taken to achieve a successful complementary taste and texture balance between nuts and chocolate. Sometimes the underlying chocolate may be too strong for more delicate nut flavors. Under-roasted or over-roasted nuts can distract from an otherwise great experience; too much or too little salt in some chocolate and nut blends might be a consideration.

How big should flavor addition pieces be, nuts or otherwise, to created a layering of flavors? While pulverized herbs may release more flavor, not so with most nuts. Some chocolate bars with almonds will incorporate the nuts as tiny pieces, giving the bar a uniform mild crunch, but while adding texture, more delicate flavors may be lost.

Today's Bissinger's bar with whole roasted almonds gave the bar a more noticeable crunch, and made it easier to actually taste the slightly sweet, nutty flavor of the almonds, even with an otherwise smooth dark chocolate base with slightly bitter and earth notes.

I also liked that this bar wasn't too sweet. Too much sugar can also overpower subtle flavors.

This Chocolate and Almonds bar was made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cacao from the Ivory Coast, and was gluten free, and contained, from what I could tell, mostly Non-GMO ingredients.

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