Arete Fine Chocolate
OKO Caribe 70 percent Organic Dark Chocolate bar
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 172 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and the Dominican Republic Theme Week.
Today's OKO Caribe 70 percent Organic Dark bar from Arete Fine Chocolate (Milpitas, CA) follows hot on the heels of yesterday's Arete bar from Finca Elvesia (another farm/plantation in the Dominican Republic), and that invited some side-by-side comparison tasting.
This dark chocolate had a pleasing green (green tea + green fruit) aroma laced with the promise of something sweet.
The well-tempered bar broke with hard snap and had an even melt. And it tasted like a deep, dark and well-rounded, satisfying fruit cake or Boston brown bread* with a new satisfying note in every bite: a uniform, dried fruit flavor (prunes, apricots with a touch of red fruit). The sweetness was almost that of brown sugar, very light molasses and root beer.
Both yesterday's and today's Arete bars made with DR cacao were very well executed two-ingredient bars, crafted from organic cocoa beans and organic cane sugar. They were similar, yet had some subtle differences.
Yesterday's bar may have had more raisin notes vs. other dried or "brown" fruit notes. They both had pleasant green notes. Yesterday's bar seemed to have a slightly more spice-forward aroma. Today's bar tasted a bit "darker." You can't go wrong with either one.
The OKO Caribe fermentary is located near the city of San Francisco de Macoris in N-NE Dominican Republic. The owners work with different farmers in the region to produce a high-quality product. (Finca Elvesia is also on the north side of the island.)
*Boston brown bread is a dense, dark brown "bread" steamed (usually in a can), that contains molasses, buttermilk, cornmeal, rye or wheat flour and raisins, that is as much a cake as it is a bread. I used to love eating thick, round slices of this bread with butter or cream cheese.