Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Artisana - Venezuelan Criollo Dark 65% bar - Oct. 5, 2016

Chocolate of the Day:

Artisana Organics
Venezuelan Chocolate Cacao Criollo
Dark 65% (bar)
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: .9 oz. (25 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.

This morning I tasted the third of three different dark chocolate bars from Artisana Organics—made in Switzerland from Criollo Cacao grown in Venezuela. These Artisana bars were distributed by Premier Organics (Oakland, CA).

The supply chain seems complex, but this three-continent
assembly process is not that unusual in today's world, chocolate or otherwise. The company buys organic cacao from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in Venezuela and organic cocoa mass is blended with other organic ingredients (cane sugar, cacao butter and vanilla) in Europe, then sent to the U.S.

Today's bar was a Dark 65 percent cacao bar. Earlier this week, I tasted Artisana Organics Dark 75 percent and Dark 85 percent bars.

All three Venezuelan chocolate bars had pleasant (and slightly different) aromas. And all three were refreshingly light on sugar compared to other "dark" bars, and long on pleasing, fruit flavor. Unlike most bar brands, Artisana's two lower percentage bars were actually more impressive (likely because lower percent bars usually are drowning in so much sugar that flavors are overwhelmed).

All three bars had a smooth and even melt and texture, and these thinner bars ensured quick and even access to flavors in the chocolate.

Today's 65 percent bar had subtle, rounded, complex, almost floral, berry jam flavor notes. I believe "forest berry" was the term used in the tasting notes.

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