Tuesday, March 15, 2016

El Castillo del Cacao - Coffee and Cashew bar - Mar. 15, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

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.

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