Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bonnat - Los Colorados Equateur 75% bar - July 14, 2015

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Chocolat Bonnat / Bonnat Chocolatier
Los Colorados Equateur (Ecuador) 75% de cacao (bar)
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 152 calories (estimate) in 1 oz. (28.3 g.) piece of bar
Cost: $16.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #10, the last day of an extended Chocolate and Ecuador Theme Week.

Today's Los Colorados Equateur (Ecuador) tablette (bar) was made by Chocolate Bonnat (Voiron, Isere, France).

Bonnat is a business with a strong family history in chocolate. Felix Bonnat established a chocolate shop back in the1880s in the French town of Voiron. And the family tradition continues today. The current Maitre Chocolatier (head chocolatier) is Stephane Bonnat.

The company has produced at least 10 single origin chocolates, including today's Ecuador bar.*

This 75% cacao bar was made in France, with unroasted cacao beans shipped in from Ecuador -- from the Santa Domingo de Los Colorados region, so named because of the local colors there associated with the Tsachilas people, who dye their hair (and clothes) with plant materials (achiote and other natural colors).

The bar's aroma was subtle and pleasing. One of the Bonnat hallmarks was apparent with the first bite of this bar -- a buttery, creamy texture and melt combined with good flavor (flavorful and balanced dried fruit, floral notes and cream). I also get a tiny whiff of floral-banana-marshmallow with many Ecuador bars, including this one. The overall flavor was quite good and without strong bitterness.

I enjoyed a similar 75% dark Ecuador from Bonnat last year, but the packaging was a different color, the bar title was different; and it's likely the harvest year was slightly earlier. So I don't think this was a repeat.

Just in case, I had a second single origin chocolate today, albeit not from Ecuador. (They were single origin truffles from SOMA Chocolatemaker (Toronto, Canada).) It was fruity and sweet and creamy and quite good. (The tasting notes mentioned wild raspberries and wildflower honey.)

*I was first introduced to Bonnat chocolate bars by Sunita de Tourreil, owner and chocolate curator extraordinaire at The Chocolate Garage (Palo Alto, CA). The creamy, buttery texture and smoother taste of these bars was a nice complement to some of the strong, bold flavors of craft bars emerging from the wave of new American makers several years ago. Thank you Sunita.

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