Arete Fine Chocolate
Viet Nam Lam Dong 100% Dark Chocolate bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 172.5 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $17.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Vietnam Theme Week.
Today's Viet Nam Lam Dong 100% Dark Chocolate bar was thoughtfully crafted by Arete Fine Chocolate (Spencer, TN). This was one of the best 100% cacao bars I've tasted in awhile. (Sadly it is sold out, so it's not possible to order some for future tastings.)
The chocolate was made with just one ingredient: cacao beans that were grown in the Lam Dong province of Vietnam northeast of Ho Chi Minh City, in the southern part of the country.
It had a mild malt aroma and flavor note (faint dark pumpernickel bread, stout). The melt and texture was creamy and smooth.* The deep, dense, robust chocolate flavor with a balanced touch of bitterness in the second half, grows on you and is very consistent (no off flavors). The finish lingers a bit, in a pleasant way.
Note: I wouldn't sample this with other sweet chocolate. It deserves to be enjoyed separately.
*If there was additional cacao butter added it wasn't clear. However, if it was, these makers have made it a point to press their own cacao butter (using the same beans they're using for the cocoa solids in a bar), which is more work than it sounds like.