Friday, June 24, 2016

Signature Select - 85% Cacao Dark bar - June 24, 2016

Chocolate of the Day:

Signature Select
(Distributed by Better Living Brands LLC*)
85% Cacao Dark Chocolate bar
Good - Good +
Weight: .7 oz. (20 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories in 1/5 bar
Cost: $2.50 for 1 bar (2 bars for $5.00)
Purchased from: Safeway, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Swiss Chocolate Week. When people think of Swiss chocolate they often think of milk chocolate, but in the closing days of this theme week, we'll look at a few ultra-dark bars made in Switzerland.

Today's Signature Select 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate bar (made in Switzerland and distributed by Better Living Brands LLC, Pleasanton, CA*) had a dark, complex but well balanced aroma and flavor profile.

Far from being a one-note bar, there was a bit of earth, a bit of chocolate fudge, and even a bit of a sweet green, floral top note. Flavors unfolded nicely without any huge spikes or "off" flavors.

Speaking of flavor, this five-ingredient** bar did contain some "natural flavor," although that doesn't tell us much. It could be natural fruit or nut flavorings; or it could be almost anything really.

There was a tiny bit of granularity in the texture, but nothing too off-putting. (Given a choice, I'd rather have a slightly shorter conch time and retain more volatile flavor elements than have a sub-micron level smoothness with less flavor.)

I don't know what the origin(s) and supply chain were for this ultra-dark bar, but for $2.50, it was a commendable and reasonably-priced bar for eating; and it might be great in a dark brownie mix.

*Better Living Brands LLC is associated with Safeway (Pleasanton, CA). In 2008, Safeway (large U.S. grocery store chain) unveiled the Better Living Brands Alliance to market health brands (e.g., O Organics, Eating Right product lines). Brand and private labeling strategies have continued to evolve since then. Sometimes it's easier to keep brands floating above underlying corporate mergers and acquisitions; although it does make tracking more difficult.

**Ingredients: Chocolate Liquor, Cocoa Butter, Sugar, Cocoa Power, Natural Flavor
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