El Castillo del Cacao
Coffee and Cashew (Cafe y Maranon) bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .7 oz. (20 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 105 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: 24.00 Cordobas (Nicaragua) or approx. $0.88 (USD)
Purchased from: Hotel San Jose, Matagalpa, Nicaragua
This week I've launched a Nicaragua Edition Series of chocolates, that reflects real-time travel through this Central American country of cacao origin.
I'll be featuring multiple chocolates per day, which may be a bit confusing. Basically this week/trip will entail sampling at least seven+ local chocolates, some of which will be surprise discoveries, like today's bar.
El Castillo del Cacao (cocoa castle) is a local chocolatemaker in the Matagalpa, Nicaragua area. Today's Cafe y Maranon (Coffee and Cashew) bar was one of two El Castillo bars I purchased at our hotel--Hotel San Jose (in downtown Matagalpa).
This chocolate bar was made from local (Nicaraguan), organic cacao. It had a touch of well-balanced coffee flavor, a slightly gritty (stoneground sugar and cacao) texture, and was marked with what looked to be an embossed bike symbol across the top.
Stoneground or lightly conched bars (made in a traditional manner that pre-dates large manufacturing facilities filled with stainless steel equipment) may lack the buttery smooth texture that some European-made bars have from hours or days of grinding down cacao bean pieces into micro-particle sized velvety bits; however, this rustic style with more substantial flavor and almost crunchy texture has its virtues and fans too.
*Apologies for the blurry photos, taken on a moving bus.