Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - Mint Crisp Bar - July 8, 2017

Chocolate of the Day: 

The Oakland Chocolate Company
Mint Crisp Bar - Jamaican Origin 70% Cacao
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.35 g.) in total bar
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $2.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Company, Oakland, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Mint Theme Week.

Today's 70% Cacao Mint Crisp Bar was from The Oakland Chocolate Company (Oakland, CA). Chief chocolate maker, Nancy Nadel, makes bean-to-bar chocolates from scratch with cacao beans from Jamaica.

The company's chocolates can be ordered online, or purchased at some local haunts and farmers markets.

Summer is great fun, but not always for chocolate vendors. It's a challenge to sell or transport chocolate outdoors in hot summer weather.

But, Nancy Nadel at The Oakland Chocolate Company manages. She sells her chocolates on Fridays at the Old Oakland Farmers' Market in downtown Oakland, and was keeping her bars and confections in a cooler in the shade yesterday. I scurried back to an air-conditioned car with her chocolates after buying them as fast as possible.

The Mint Crunch Bar was a thick creamy bar with a slow melt, filled with earthy dark cacao bean flavor. A light sprinkling of candied cacao nibs (pieces of bean) supplied extra cacao flavor and crunchy texture. And peppermint oil provided a subtle hint of mint. Last, but not least, this bar wasn't overly sweet (a plus).

Divine Chocolate - 70% Dark Chocolate with Mint bar - July 7, 2017

Chocolate of the Day:

Divine Chocolate
70% Dark Chocolate with Mint bar
Weight: 1.16 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 200 calories (per label) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Mint Theme Week. And, Happy World Chocolate Day in Europe/UK.

Today's Divine Chocolate 70% Dark Chocolate with Mint bar was made in Germany with Fairtrade cacao beans from the Kuapa Kokoo Farmers co-operative in Ghana (West Africa), and distributed by Divine Chocolate Inc. (Washington, D.C.). This was a true international bar.

The chocolate had a smooth, almost creamy texture, likely from a bit of added cocoa butter. The taste of tiny natural peppermint crisp pieces was authentic, pleasing, flavorful and even throughout the bar. An earthy dark chocolate flavor kept poking through the natural mint; otherwise the base chocolate was smooth in flavor as well.

Like other Divine Chocolate offerings, this dark mint bar was attractively packaged. The inside of the outer packaging, printed with colorful Adinkra (West African)-inspired symbols* contained educational information about the people/farmers behind the beans. Inside this outer wrapper the bar was covered in gold foil.

*Adrinka symbols often appear on West African cloth and hand-made crafts; and each symbol has its own meaning. (The only one I could decipher here meant "strength.")

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