Friday, April 21, 2017

Sirene Chocolate - Bolivia 73% Cacao dark bar - April 21, 2017

Chocolate of the Day: 

Sirene Artisan Chocolate Makers
Bolivia 73 percent Wild Foraged bar
Good +++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.)/ 2 oz. (56.6 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Bolivia Theme Week.

Today's relatively thick, well-tempered Bolivia bar from Sirene Chocolate (Victoria, BC, Canada) broke with a well-tempered, hard snap made very easy with even scoring between segments. In fact, everything about this bar was even and well-made.

The chocolate was made from wild cacao that grows under rainforest canopy in the Bolivian Amazon. The wild cacao beans* (like those used to make yesterday's Wild Bolivia bar from Stone Grindz) were foraged by "intrepid harvesters."

The bar's packaging contains a good explanation of how this is done, i.e. by "boats, canoes, motorcycles and trucks over both land and water..."

And, after making the journey north, these beans were skillfully tamed and crafted into today's chocolate at Sirene's workshop in Victoria, BC.

The aroma and flavor of the Bolivia bars this week has been true chocolate, with an occasional secondary note or two. The aroma for this bar was also very chocolatey (cocoa, fudge, chocolate malt) with very slight green and sweet cream of tomato soup** notes.

The flavor was dark chocolate (homogeneous, not too sweet) all the way through with mild dried fruit and very mild nut (cashew), evenly incorporated. The relatively mild finish lingered a bit longer than expected, with a very slight hint of fruit acidity. There were no off notes in this bar.

*Cacao beans are, or at least start out to be, "seeds" (that can reproduce) from a fruit (or a drupe). During fermentation and processing these seeds lose their ability to grow, and the term cocoa bean makes more sense. 

People in the U.S. and Canada have been referring to the core plant parts inside the cacao fruit as "beans" for many years now. (I've seen the term "semillas" (seeds) used in parts of Latin America; but very rarely in the U.S.) So we may be stuck with the bean origin nomenclature; especially since people (including me) keep writing about cacao or cocoa "beans." In French also, the term used most often is feve (bean).

**Sounds odd, I know. But, it was pleasant. I've had one or two chocolates with tomato as a flavor inclusion in past years, but this was the first time I remember any plant- or green-related aroma with a tomato soup note.

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