Saturday, October 15, 2016

Naive - Porcini Organic Dark-Milk Chocolate bar - Oct. 15, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Naive
Porcini - Organic Dark-Milk Chocolate bar
Good +++
Weight: .97 oz. (27.5 g.) / 1.94 oz. (55 g.) in total bar
Calories: 146 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of And Now for Something Completely Different Theme Week.

Making bean-to-bar, small batch chocolate is challenging enough. However, for a creative and persistent few, experimenting with flavor inclusions in chocolate is the next step, after mastering the technical art of crafting chocolate from scratch (if that's possible).

Today I sampled another unique bar from Chocolate Naive (Rudamina, Lithuania)—a bar made with porcini mushrooms. The first sentence on the back of this package read: "Lithuanians love their mushrooms - that is a fact." Porcini mushrooms are highly valued by mushroom hunters. Each culture seems to have its own king of all mushrooms, and in Lithuania, it may well be the wild porcini.

Chocolate, can be successfully incorporated into both sweet and savory edibles, and vice versa—if properly executed. Happily, this bar was very well balanced and well made.

The Chocolate Naive milk bar was made with Tanzanian cacao and porcini mushrooms; and, as you might expect, the chocolate had an earthy mushroom/umami* aroma and flavor.

Freeze-dried porcini mushrooms were listed as an ingredient that was incorporated into today's bar. The chocolate was very smooth, with a creamy melt and mouthfeel; and I couldn't detect any bits of anything. (Perhaps milk or cream was infused with these mushrooms in advance. I don't know.)

The bar had a pleasant, lingering, tasty mushroom soup finish.

*Umami is a Japanese term that, roughly translated into English, means "pleasant savory flavor." Often called the fifth flavor, umami foods such as meats, vegetables, cheeses, mushrooms, seaweed, and ripe tomatoes. These foods typically contain higher amounts of glutamate, a way to measure umami.

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