Friday, May 15, 2015

Trader Joe's - Peru 60% bar - May 15, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Trader Joe's
Peru 60% cacao dark chocolate bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .4 oz. (11.25 g.) / 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 57.5 calories (estimate based on label) in 1/4 bar
Cost: $N/A - part of a larger single origin Chocolate Passport tasting pack
Purchased from: Trader Joe's, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

The Chocolate Passport single origin tasting pack was this past year's collection of single origin bars from Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA).

This sampler of 8 different bars was sold in local (California) Trader Joe's stores for a short time around the November-December holiday season. I hope the tasting pack concept will continue. These collections, with bars from different cacao-growing countries, have sold out quickly in the past year's that they've been offered. (Last May, I featured a similar Peru single origin bar from Trader Joe's that tasted slightly differently. Hard to tell whether the beans were the same plantation or not; but beans do vary from year to year, just like wine grapes do.)

Today's Peru 60% cacao dark chocolate bar was smooth, with a similar bitter note that I've tasted in other Peru single origin bars this week. But, the finish was clean, and the bitter note did not linger too long.  Tasting notes on the bar's packaging suggested an ideal pairing might be with a Cabernet Sauvignon (wine).

Lucuma ice cream
I did not have any Cabernet on hand. Instead I paired this chocolate with a small bowl of homemade Lucuma* ice cream, a dessert you might find served in Peru, with some Amazon-related toppings (dried golden berries, maca powder, chopped brazil nuts, etc.).

Gluten-free brownie
I also enjoyed a homemade gluten-free brownie from friend, Julie. Thank you Julie! Her cupcake shaped brownie were infused with very tasty ginger and lemon flavor. Yum.

*Lucuma is a fruiting plant that grows in Peru, Chile and Ecuador, and has a slight maple-butterscotch flavor.

Hageland - Peru 64 percent dark bar - May 14, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

(Made in Belgium by Kim's Chocolates)
Peru 64% dark chocolate bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .875 oz. (25 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 151 calories (estimate) in 1/4 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

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

The Hageland Peru 64% dark chocolate bar was made in Belgium by Kim's Chocolates.

I agree with the tasting notes printed on the packaging: "An unmistakable hint of fruit, with a slightly bitter cocoa taste, creates a surprising first impression..."

There was some fruit/acid that gave this bar some oomph/interest, and a bitter flavor that, surprisingly, didn't linger too long or spoil the experience.

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