Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ritual Chocolate - Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% bar - July 12, 2018

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ritual Chocolate
Vanilla Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% Cacao bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate, Bourbon and Whiskey Theme Week.

This Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla 70% Cacao bar "crafted at 7,000 feet" by Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT) managed to attain an ideal state: a creamy, smooth texture and complex, rich flavor.

To get a creamier texture or mouth-feel, a chocolate maker usually conches or grinds cacao for a longer period of time, achieving a finer particle size. However, in doing so, more volatile flavors can be lost during this process. This chocolate was made using a special (Mid Mountain) house blend of cacao beans from different origins.

Today's complex, well-balanced dark chocolate bar contained flavor notes of cherry and vanilla—but not just flat, dime store vanillin in alcohol. Rather, it was an earthy, faintly smokey, authentic ground vanilla bean vanilla, from Madagascar. High-quality Bourbon* vanilla from Madagascar-grown beans is much prized. 

*The term "Bourbon vanilla" does not involve any whiskey. Instead it refers to vanilla beans (orchid Vanilla planifolia) originally from the Americas, that were (like cacao and other crops) taken to be cultivated in Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. (One of these colonial islands was once known as Ile Bourbon.) Bourbon vanilla is slightly different than Mexican vanilla and quite a bit different than Tahitian vanilla (which is more aromatically floral).

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