Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Santander Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs - Sept. 23, 2015

Chocolate of the Day:

Chocolate Santander
Santander Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs
Very Good
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42.25 g.) / 3.52 oz. (100 g.) in total package
Calories: 225 calories (estimate) for 1.5 oz. (42.45 g.) serving
Cost: $3.95 for 1 package
Purchased from: Chocosphere (online order)

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Colombia Theme Week.

Cocoa nibs are ground bits of cocoa beans. And fresh cacao nibs are full of aroma and flavor.

When I opened this small (100 g.) package of Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs that I ordered from the Chocosphere website, I was greeted by the intoxicating smell of freshly baked brownies, made with cacao that had a very pleasing, well-rounded, almost nutty flavor profile.

Each small nib was coated with Santander (Colombian single origin) 53% dark chocolate and had a soft crunch.

I could eat these all day long.

Santander is the name of a department in Colombia, with fertile soil in the Yariguies Mountains, where cacao is grown. Chocolate Santander is the name of a company based in Colombia -- one of the only single origin, chocolate makers producing chocolate in-country (vs. shipping beans overseas to chocolate makers, typically in the Northern Hemisphere). Fortunately, for those in the U.S., it can also be found and ordered online.

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Artisan du Chocolat - Arauca, Orinoquia region, Colombia bar - Sept. 22, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Artisan du Chocolat
Arauca - Orinoquia region, Colombia bar
Good ++
Weight: 1..59 oz. (45 g.) in total bar
Calories:  239 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $7.95 for 1 bar
Purchased from: ZombieRunner, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Colombia Theme Week.

Today's 72% cocoa, dark chocolate Aruaca (Colombia) bar from Artisan du Chocolat (Kent and London, U.K.) was made in Colombia and Great Britain.*

This Limited Edition single origin bar came with quite a bit of information (via Gerard's Notes, printed on the back of the attractive gold packaging) about its origin.

For example, "Arauca is a department of Colombia shaped by the Casanare and Meta rivers and located in the extreme north of the Orinoco region, bordering Venezuela." Beans from Trinitario hybrid cacao, that apparently have maintained some fine flavor, heritage Criollo cacao characteristics, were used to make the bar.

The chocolate was interesting and flavorful, with a honey-like sweetness; that is, it had a sweeter (almost nutty) flavor than I associated with many 72% dark chocolate bars. I got a quick hit of red fruit/berry flavor, followed by a pause, then a slight earthy note at the end.

*The common practice is to ship fermented, dried cacao beans from the growing country to chocolate makers in the Northern Hemisphere, who make the chocolate bars (involving many steps, such as conching, refining and tempering of chocolate) in their factory. This bar was produced in Bogota, Colombia, by Casa Luker (a family-owned Colombian company). It was nice to see this alliance and credit given to work being done in the country of origin. 

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