Thursday, June 22, 2017

Valenza Chocolatier - Nibs Bar - June 22, 2017

Chocolate of the Day: 

Valenza Chocolatier
Nibs Bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.03 oz. (30 g.) / 3.1 oz. (90 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $N/A - sample, included in larger order
Purchased from: Valenza Chocolatier, Costa Mesa, CA (online order)

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Cacao Nibs Theme Week.

Great blend of rich flavors and creamy and crunchy textures in today's Nibs Bar from Valenza Chocolatier (Costa Mesa, CA).

The base chocolate was made using Venezuelan origin cacao (fruity, complex chocolate flavor with a very subtle cinnamon spice note). The creamy 73.5 % cacao dark bar had a dense layer of finely ground, crunchy nibs on one side; and the nibs contributed their own slightly earthy, true chocolate/brownie flavor depth to the mix.

Nibs are pieces of cacao seed or bean, that can be eaten plain, unsweetened. Or they can be finely ground and made into chocolate. The essence of the cacao aroma, flavor and texture is usually evident in the nibs. Every once in a while when sampling chocolates with cacao nib pieces on or in them, there can be a small piece of funky nib (less obvious when beans are fully ground together with sugar perhaps). However, there were no bitter or "off" flavors in this bar.

Thank you to Amy Jo Pedone, Master Chocolatier at Valenza for her talents, and for including this sample Nibs Bar into a previous order. I was looking forward to trying this bar for quite awhile.

Big Tree Farms - Cashew-Cacao Cluster - June 21, 2017

Chocolate of the Day: 

Big Tree Farms
Cashew-Cacao Cluster
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 4 oz. (113 g.) in total package
Calories: 167 calories in 1 oz. serving
Cost: $missing information for 1 package
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Cashew Theme Week, and Day #1 of Cacao Nibs Theme Week. Today's crossover entry contained both cashew nuts and cacao nibs.

Crunchy and not too sweet, these Cashew-Cacao Cluster pieces from Big Tree Farms (Bali, Indonesia) were very lightly sweetened with coconut palm sugar and had a pleasant nutty crunch with distinctive yet smooth cacao nib flavor.

If you're ever in Bali, the company also gives tours of their factory facility, where you can see one of the largest commercial structures made of bamboo in the world. (They produce coconut sugar, aminos and nectar as well.)
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