Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Harald Unique - Brazilian 63% Cocoa Bahia bar - Dec. 9, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Harald Unique
63% Cocoa Semisweet Chocolate bar
Good - Good+
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 210 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Brazil is likely weigh in as the 6th largest producer of cacao in the world in 2015 (behind 4 African countries and Indonesia). However, until recently, there haven't been that many opportunities to sample Brazilian cacao single origin bars in the U.S.

Harald Unique (Sao Paolo, Brasil) offers a series of different chocolate bars made with cacao from Amazonia. Yesterday's 70% semisweet dark bar was made with organic cacao from the Brazilian state of Pará in northern Brazil.

Today's 63% cocoa semisweet dark bar (no milk) came from further south. This Harald Unique bar was produced from cacao grown at "João Tavares* Farm, in Uruçuca, south of Bahia state, Brazil, under the coordinates" 14 degrees 05' South and 30 degrees 3' West.

The bar was sweetly fragrant and tasted a bit like silken smooth, high-end chocolate frosting. If you're craving cake-like sweetness, this might be a great choice. The fruit and caramel notes mentioned on the packaging were edged out a bit by the frosting flavor, but still present. Flavor and texture were smooth and even, with no "off" notes.

To Harald's credit, they are one of the first Brazilian-based makers (that I'm aware of) offering single origin bars here in the U.S. (via distributor Loco Brands in Florida) that also lists details about where the cacao is grown—down to the coordinate level.

More Brazil single origin bar choices in the U.S. offers an opportunity to learn more about Brazil, Brazilian cacao (and plantations), and this large producer of chocolate.

*João Tavares is a fourth generation cacao farmer in Eastern Brazil, who uses Cabruca agroforestry methods—including the practice of growing cacao under native shade trees.

Harald Unique - Amazonia 70% bar - Dec. 7, 2015

Chocolate of the Day: 

Harald Unique
Amazonia 70% Semisweet bar
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 2.8 oz. (80 g.) in total bar
Calories: 220 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week, and I sampled a Harald Unique (Sao Paolo, Brasil) bar from Amazonia with a pleasant chocolate aroma, and smooth texture and flavor, with a slight floral spike, and subtle "candy" finish (sweeter than expected for a 70% dark bar).

Brazil is big. So I apologize for the high altitude zoom down into the rainforest origin details below.

What is Amazonia? In a word, it's very large. Generically, Amazonia can refer to the entire Amazon River Basin area, which covers an area roughly the size of the United States, and includes tributaries located beyond Brazil (in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Guayana).

More specifically, the term can refer to areas within Brazil—the largest country in South America (and the Southern Hemisphere for that matter). Brazil is made up of 26 states.

The second largest state in Brazil is Para—the most populous state in the Northern Region of Brazil. A stretch of eastern Para reaches into the sea (Atlantic Ocean) and encompasses the mouth of the Amazon River. It's also a state where cacao grows.

Amazonia 70% bar origin
The Harald Unique "Chocolate from Amazonia" bar contained 70% (organic) cocoa, semisweet chocolate with cacao from "Transamazonica and Lower Xingu River Region.

Getting even more specific, the cacao came from "the counties of Altamira, Anapu, Brasil Novo, Medicilandia, Pacaja, Uruara, and Vitoria do Xingu"..."under the coordinates: 03,21225487074142 and 52,23291115529." (Latitude and Longtitude I believe.)

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