Pine Needle bar
Weight: .9 oz. (25.4 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50.9 g.) in total bar
Calories: 135 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.95 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Raaka, online order
Welcome to Day #5 of LMNOPQR Theme Week. Just another day in the chocolate alphabet; and today "P" stands for Pine, and Peeps.
Pining for Chocolate
I've enjoyed all the pine-infused chocolates* I've featured on Chocolate Banquet thus far, and was excited to try this Pine Needle (Bolivia) bar from Raaka Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY).
Today's bar had a dark chocolate and slight "dirt" aroma. This slight earthiness (occasionally accompanied by very light smoke and/or espresso notes)** is not necessarily a flaw. I've been known to like what I'd call perfectly good dirt bars. And when one is making a bar inspired by a tree in a forest, perhaps a certain hint of earthiness is appropriate.
However, I wondered whether I'd be able to taste the subtle floral, lemony-citrus notes of the Douglas Fir tips used to impart flavor to this Pine Needle bar. In fact, it did take a few bites for this lovely flavor to shine through. Once it did materialize, this pine flavor was lovely, but fleeting.
Peeping for Chocolate
I appreciate the memories I have of certain candy items. So, I felt compelled to include another significant "P" item from my childhood: a marshmallow "Peep."
These Peeps were made (hatched?) by Just Born, Inc. (Bethlehem, PA) and were first created many years ago as marshmallow chick shapes. They're now available in many bird and animal shapes, colors and flavors—including a few with chocolate or cocoa.
Today's attractive Red Velvet Limited Edition Peeps were red on the outside and cocoa-colored on the inside and were sitting on a white base.
I'm afraid the sugar, corn syrup and gelatin didn't have quite the charm it did in my childhood, but this marshmallow chick was still fun to try.
*Yes, believe it or not, there are several pine flavored chocolates and confections out there. My first one was a Douglas Fir truffle at SOMA Chocolatemaker (shop) in Toronto, Canada several years ago. I was hooked.
**These characteristics often start back in the fermentation and drying phases (on farms, before most bean-to-bar makers receive the cacao beans and start to make them into chocolate). And because Raaka creates their chocolate from unroasted cacao, I'm assuming these are not flavors associated with a roast profile.)