Saturday, November 18, 2017

Taza Chocolate - Bolivia 87% Dark bar - Nov. 18, 2017

Chocolate of the Day: 

Taza Chocolate
Bolivia 87% Dark bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Draeger's Market, Los Altos, CA

Welcome to Day #28 of South American Chocolate Theme Weeks.

Today's single origin bar was made with cacao grown in Bolivia. The 87% Dark bar was crafted by Taza Chocolate in Somerville, MA.

This chocolate had a very pleasant hot chocolate/chocolate malt aroma with very faint, but again pleasing, sweet green, fruit and nut notes. This aroma was considerably more upbeat and friendly than one would expect for 87% cacao chocolate, in part due to the addition of what smelled like high-quality vanilla* beans. And the taste was very approachable as well.

Taza has worked hard to perfect the taste and texture of their stoneground drinking chocolate, bars, snacks and confections over the years to balance the benefits of more rustic stoneground beans and a smooth buttery chocolate experience that some desire. Sounds good, but it takes precision and skill to know just how long to (or not to) process/grind/blend cacao beans for the optimal result.

The company used traditional Mexican stone mills (molinos) to grind their beans. And today's bar was described as "perfectly unrefined."

Indeed the resulting chocolate maintained good flavor and was both smooth and slightly crunchy, with tiny sparkles of what felt like cane sugar crystals or vanilla* rather than weedy cacao or vanilla bean flecks—the likely result if I tried to make bean-to-bar chocolate in my kitchen with a coffee or nut grinder. (One also needs to know when to put in the sugar and vanilla bean so the right components sparkle and shine.)

*The Bolivia 87% Dark bar contained just three ingredients: Certified Direct Trade organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic vanilla beans

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