Monday, February 23, 2015

Earthsource Maca bite; Pacari bar - Feb. 23, 2015

Chocolate(s) of the Day:

Earthsource Organics
Maca - Cacao and Maca, Bite Size
Weight: .26 oz. (7.4 g.) / 35 oz. (9.9 g.) (estimate) in 1 piece
Calories: 39 calories (estimate) in 3/4 piece
Cost: $1.29 for 1 individually wrapped piece
Purchased from: Country Sun Natural Foods, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Maca Theme Week.

My first pick for the day was the individually-wrapped, bite-sized "Righteously Raw" Maca square from Earthsource Organics (San Diego, CA). Certified Organic and Non-GMO, this chocolate contained cocoa butter, maca powder, mesquite powder, vanilla bean powder and salt... but no cocoa solids, from what I could tell. Since I only "count" items that also contain cocoa solids for my Chocolate of the Day, I added a second chocolate, from Pacari Chocolate (Quito, Ecuador).

Pacari Chocolate
Raw Sea Salt and Nibs 70% Cacao bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .5 oz. (14.1 g.) piece / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) total bar
Calories: 75 calories (estimate) for .5 oz. (14.1 g.) piece
Cost: N/A - sample
Purchased from: N/A - sample

Ecuadorian cacao can have wonderful floral flavor notes. I especially like Pacari Raw (and roasted) bars for this flavor. Pacari claims they are the first company to make chocolate from tree to bar, in Ecuador. (Most cacao is grown in one country and the fermented beans or liquor (mass) is shipped to another country for manufacturing.) Making chocolate "in country" offers more control over the process, and development/preservation of certain flavors.

Floral flavors are not for everyone, and also can be fairly volatile, i.e. easily lost as cacao is being processed, heated, and made into bars. Today's Raw Sea Salt and Nibs 70% Cacao bar was smooth and flavorful with lovely floral notes intact. This organic, kosher and gluten free bar was a World Chocolate Awards 2012 Silver winner.

Pacari offers a series of bars and chocolate items, made with raw, and some with roasted cacao (almost exclusively from Ecuador*). I would have written about the Pacari 70% Raw cacao bar with Maca -- for Maca theme week this week -- but I already featured this Maca bar last year.

*Pacari has/had one bar made with cacao beans from next door neighbor Peru, and the company incorporates Cuzco salt, Maca and other ingredients from the larger Andean region in their Andean flavors collection.

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