Friday, March 22, 2019

Luna - Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk (bar) - Mar. 22, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Luna 
Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk (bar)
Good
Weight: 1.48 oz. (42 g.) bar / box of 6 bars
Calories: 180 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $3.49 for 1 box of 6 bars
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

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

Oats are a popular starch and cereal grain, often combined with chocolate chips or chunks, in cookies, granolas, cereals and oatmeal cereals. 

They're also a popular (non-wheat) inclusion in energy, nutrition and cereal bars, such as today's Luna Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk bar distributed by Clif Bar and Company (Emeryville, CA). 

Oats* can add a bit of substantial cereal oomph and texture/fiber to a bar and, to some extent, can help balance sweetness (if extra sugar isn't added to compensate for this muffling effect). Speaking of sugar this bar was labeled as "low glycemic" (19 grams carbohydrates and 5 grams of sugar).

This bar had mild peanut butter flavor. And small chocolate chunks adhered to one side of the bar, gave it a hint of rich chocolate flavor.

*The first ingredient listed was a Protein Grain Blend (soy protein isolate, organic rolled oats, organic rice flour). This gluten-free bar contained 7 grams of protein.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Freed Foods - NurturMe Organic Ancient Grain Cookies - Cocoa - Mar. 21, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Made for Freed Foods
NurturMe - Organic Ancient Grain Cookies - Cocoa
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 5 oz. (1?? g.) in total box
Calories: 130 calories in 1 serving (7 small cookies)
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Starches Theme Week.

Today's NurturMe Organic Ancient Grain Cookies - Cocoa - were manufactured for Freed Foods (Austin, TX), and were made from a flour blend of millet, sorghum and quinoa—considered "ancient grains" here (as well as potato and tapioca starch).

Quinoa is a plant from the Andes with starchy seeds that looks like a grain. Technically it's a pseudo-cereal, that has become popular in the U.S. in recent decades. Today's small cocoa-flavored cookies were crunchy, and not too sweet (thank you).

Quinoa can add a satisfying crunchy texture to baked goods, especially cookies. The cocoa gave these cookies a rich flavor. These were a bit on the dry side, but it was nothing a glass of water, milk, coffee, or companion beverage of your choice wouldn't be able to address.

Did I mention these cookies included probiotics? The probiotic(s) listed: GanedenBC30(R) (Organic Inulin, Bacillus coagulans GBI-30 6086). Sounds technical. We weren't sure what this beneficial bacteria is used for in terms of digestive or overall health. But, it didn't seem to affect the taste of these small cookies.





Natural Nectar - ChocoDream Organic Cocoa Rice Stix - Mar. 20, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Natural Nectar
ChocoDream - Organic Cocoa Rice Stix - Coconut cream filled
Good +
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 4.4 oz. (125 g.) in total box of 5 packets
Calories: 130 calories in 1 packet (2 pieces/stix)
Cost: $4.49 for 1 box of 5 packets
Purchased from: Whole Foods Market, Los Altos, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate, Grasses and Grains Theme Week.

Today's ChocoDream - Organic Cocoa Rice Stix - Coconut cream filled packaged snacks were made in Italy and distributed by Natural Nectar (Huntington, NY).

Why incorporate starch from rice, corn, millet, quinoa, oats, grains, pseudo-cereals, and other grains and root vegetables into a chocolate item? Chocolate can certainly perk up grains. And starches and grains can add crispy texture, e.g. to an oatmeal or quinoa chocolate chip cookie, or to today's organic crunchy rice treats.

Chocolate purists may not agree, but this week we're sampling chocolates with a bit of starch added.

Today's box* of light, sweet, crunchy cocoa flavored** tube-shaped sticks were filled with creamy coconut resulted in an addictive combination—as tasty as any cookie out there (if you like a bit of coconut). And they were gluten free, vegan and organic.

*This box of 5 individually-wrapped packets contained two pieces in each packet.
**Ingredients: organic cane sugar, organic rice flour, organic grated coconut,  organic sunflower oil, organic coconut oil, organic low-fat cocoa powder, organic quinoa flour, organic millet flour, salt.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Chocolate Story Manufaktura Czekolady - House Blend Milk 44% kakao with roasted hazelnuts - Mar. 19, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolate Story
Manufaktura Czekolady 
House Blend Milk 44% kakao with roasted hazelnuts (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 1.75 oz. (50 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 279 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift from maker

Welcome. Sometimes one is in the right place at the right time to hear a wonderful new chocolate story. Such was the case recently, while at Chocolate Covered in San Francisco. Krzysztof Stypulkowski* was in this shop speaking with Jack, the owner, about carrying some new bars from Poland. What luck! We were there too, chocolate shopping.

Today's House Blend Milk 44% kakao with roasted hazelnuts bar was made by Manufaktura Czekolady (Chocolate Story) based in Poland.

The aroma was one of high-quality dark milk chocolate. The melt and texture were smooth, and the mouth feel became even creamier after the first bite. The chocolate tasted richer and darker than its 44% cacao content. The carefully distributed whole roasted hazelnuts added fresh nut flavor and a satisfying soft crunch.

Looking forward to tasting and featuring more Chocolate Story bars in the near future. (The taste we had of the company's Uganda bar recently caught our attention.)

*Krzysztof has background as an Information Technology (IT) professional. This is not unusual for artisan chocolate makers. Some of the best bean-to-bar chocolate we've seen has come from people with technical backgrounds, who feel as at home building and fixing machines and problem-solving as they do with sharing their chocolate story with others.


Solstice Chocolate - India 70% Dark Chocolate Anamalai bar - March 18, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Solstice Chocolate
India 70% Dark Chocolate Anamalai bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .766 oz. (21.6 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 106.6 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $13.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.

Today's 70% Dark Chocolate Anamalai (India) bar was from Solstice Chocolate (Salt Lake City, UT).

This bar had a stronger fruit aroma and flavor than other bars made with cacao from Anamalai* featured this week.

The aroma of today's 70% dark bar had dried fruit (golden raisins, goji berries) and very faint spice notes. The bar broke with a hard snap; and the melt and texture were smooth.

The flavor had strong fruit notes (tangy red raspberries, passion fruit) and a faint hint of of acetic acid (fruit vinegar), followed by light black pepper and spice.

The packaging was attractive and unique in that it was also a re-sealable pouch.

*Anamalai is a cacao, coconut and nutmeg farm in southern India. 


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Tiny House Chocolate Artisans - 67% India Dark Chocolate (Anamalai) bar - March 17, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Tiny House Chocolate Artisans
67% India Chocolate bar - Source: Anamalai
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .705 oz. (20 g.) / 1.41 oz. (40 g.) in total bar
Calories: 112 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.

Today's 67% Anamalai India Chocolate Artisans bar was from Tiny House Chocolate Artisans (Santa Cruz, CA).

Tiny House Chocolate was featured in an article in Good Times (Santa Cruz, CA). (Photo of founders at right is from this article.)

Gustavo Hilsdorf and Maiana Lasevicius, the artisans behind small batch Tiny House Chocolate Artisans, moved to Santa Cruz, California, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, and started offering bean-to-bar chocolate in 2015. (Lasevicius's father makes chocolate in Brazil, likely providing them with some helpful background and experience.)

The duo roast and grind cacao beans from multiple origins around the globe and sell two-ingredient (cocoa beans and sugar) single bars as well as bars with carefully selected inclusions. (Look for a write-up on their Sarsaparilla bar in a few weeks.) Today's bar was made from Forastero and Criollo cacao beans grown in the Anamalai area of Southern India.

This bar had an aroma with light green, fruit and faint spice notes, and a creamy, smooth melt,  texture and finish.

The 67% bar was similar in flavor profile to other Anamalai bars featured this week (all were well-executed and balanced) only with a tiny bit more fruit acidity (which some will like) that was perhaps highlighted by a tad more sugar than the other bars. Although it certainly was balanced and did not taste too sweet.

Makers tasting notes listed on the packaging read: "Dried fruits and Brazil nuts."


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Pascati - 81% Dark Idukki, Inda bar - March 16, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Pascati Foods LLP
81% Dark Idukki, India bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.32.5 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocosphere.com (online order)

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.
Today's 81% Dark Idukki, India bar was manufactured by Pascati Foods India LLP (Palgahar, Maharashtra, India).

Like its sibling, the 72% Dark Idukki bar (featured yesterday), this darker 81% version had an aroma with green, dried fruit, slight earth and very faint spice/herb notes.

The flavor* was similar to the aroma with green, fruit, green herb, and mild earthiness throughout.

This bar possessed a balanced dark flavor profile without the bitterness or sharpness you might find in other high-percentage, ultra-dark bars. It had a creamy melt and texture, smooth taste, and subtle finish.

This organic bar contained/listed three ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter.

*This bar contained "added natural flavours;" and details concerning these flavors were not specified.

Pascati - 72% Dark Idukki, India bar - March 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Pascati Foods LLP
72% Dark Idukki, India bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.32.5 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 228 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocosphere.com (online order)

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.
Today's 72% Dark Idukki, India bar was manufactured by Pascati Foods India LLP (Palgahar, Maharashtra, India).

This bar had an aroma with green, dried fruit, slight earth and very faint spice/herb notes.

The flavor* was similar to the aroma with green, dried fruit (golden raisins, goji berries), more green, and very mild earthiness toward the end of the tasting curve.

This bar possessed a rich, balanced dark flavor without bitterness or sharpness. It had an even melt and texture, smooth taste and subtle finish.

This relatively creamy organic bar contained/listed three ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter.

*This bar contained "added natural flavors;" and details concerning these flavors were not specified.









Thursday, March 14, 2019

Arete Fine Chocolate - India Anamalai 58% Dark Milk Chocolate bar - March 14, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Arete Fine Chocolate
India Anamalai 58% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar)
Very Good
Weight: .76 oz. (21.6 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $12.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Arete Fine Chocolate (online order)

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

Today's India Anamalai 58% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar) from Arete Fine Chocolate.

Today's four-ingredient bar contained India Anamalai cocoa beans, organic whole milk powder, organic cane sugar and organic cocoa butter. The bar broke with a well-tempered snap.

The aroma of this 58% dark milk chocolate bar was similar to the the 70% Arete India Anamalai dark bar sampled earlier this week, with pleasing chocolate and light spice notes.

However, the added milk resulted in deliciously complementary caramel/light butterscotch (aroma and flavor notes) and gave the chocolate an even creamier melt and texture.

I find well-crafted dark milk chocolate bars like this addicting. They start with high-quality dark chocolate and come from skilled makers. Makers David and Leslie also sent me a sample of their Peru milk chocolate bar with this order. (Thank you!). I'll probably be ordering both these bars again, soon.

Arete Fine Chocolate - India Jangareddygudem 70% Dark Chocolate bar - March 13, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Arete Fine Chocolate
India Jangareddygudem 70% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good +++
Weight: .766 oz. (33.3 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $16.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's India Jangareddygudem 70% Organic Dark Chocolate (bar) was crafted by Arete Fine Chocolate.

This three-ingredient bar contained organic cacao, organic cane sugar and single origin Jangareddygudem cocoa butter.

The chocolate had an enjoyable, complex and subtle tasting profile with light green notes, light spice, and a trace young green coconut/coconut palm sugar. Very smooth and well executed.

Arete Fine Chocolate - India Idukki 70% bar - March 12, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Arete Fine Chocolate
India Idukki 70% Organic Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good +++
Weight: .766 oz. (21.6 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $14.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.

Today's India Idukki 70% Organic Dark Chocolate (bar) was from Arete Fine Chocolate.

Some cacao beans call for a little added cocoa butter. However, most chocolate makers producing single origin, artisan dark bars don't go the extra step of adding single origin cocoa butter (from the same origin as the cacao beans) to their bars. David and Leslie Senk, the duo behind Arete Fine Chocolate, do this.

Today's three ingredient bar contained organic cacao, organic cane sugar and single origin organic Idukki cocoa butter

This bar had a pleasing chocolate flavor with light spice and very light molasses note and smooth, even texture.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Arete Fine Chocolate - India Anamalai 70% bar - March 11, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Arete Fine Chocolate
India Anamalai 70% bar
Good +++
Weight: .766 oz. (21.6 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 115 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.

In the last decade, many more chocolates made with cacao grown in (and flavor inclusions from), India have become more widely available.

Some of the best India single origin bars I've tasted have been made by David and Leslie Senk at Arete Fine Chocolate. Today's India Anamalai 70% Dark Chocolate bar from Arete was purchased as the Senks were relocating their chocolate factory from Milpitas, CA, to Spencer Tennessee. (Bars from both their previous and new locations are featured this week.)

Today's well-tempered Anamalai 70% dark bar broke with a hard snap and revealed a pleasing chocolate aroma with a light spice note. The melt was even, and the texture was smooth almost creamy.

Layered dark chocolate flavors gently bloomed into balanced fruit and molasses notes. This two-ingredient bar was made with cacao beans (from Anamalai* in Southern India) and organic cane sugar.

*The Anamalai hills straddle the border between Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India. The name translates into English as "Elephant Mountains;" and this hilly forested area includes a park, wildlife sanctuary—areas where you might find tigers, elephants, teak trees and waterfalls. There are also farms where cocoa, coconuts and nutmeg are grown.






Sunday, March 10, 2019

Chocolats et Cacaos - Favarger - Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Praline bar - March 10, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolats et Cacaos - Favarger
Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Praline bar
Good
Weight: 1.166 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $3.95 for 1 bar
Purchased from: World Market, N. Scottsdale, AZ
Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Hazelnuts Theme Week.

Today's imported Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Praline bar was from Chocolats et Cacaos Favarger (Versoix, Switzerland).

The dark chocolate had relatively robust dried fruit and slight earth flavor notes with a hint of ground, roasted hazelnut.





Saturday, March 9, 2019

Zing Bars - Chocolate Hazelnut Vitality bar - March 9, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Zing Bars
Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Vitality bar
Good
Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 210 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $2.19 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Menlo Park, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Hazelnuts Theme Week.

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Vitality bar from Zing Bars (Seattle, WA)

This chocolate covered bar was a combination of chopped hazelnuts, almonds with a "hint of coconut and dark chocolate." It had a slightly chewy, substantial texture; and it contained 10 grams of plant-based protein (primarily from rice and pea protein). And it wasn't too sweet (thank you).

All Zing Bars are certified gluten free.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Caffarel - Creamy Gianduia Chocolate bars - March 8, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Caffarel Chocolate
Gianduia 1865 - Creamy Dark Gianduia Chocolate (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.34 oz. (38 g.) / 3.53 oz. (100 g.) in total package
Calories: 240 calories in 3 squares
Cost: $3.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Walgreens, Palo Alto, CA

Caffarel Chocolate
Gianduia 1865 - Creamy Gianduia Chocolate (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.34 oz. (38 g.) / 3.53 oz. (100 g.) in total package
Calories: 220 calories in 3 squares
Cost: $3.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Walgreens, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Hazelnut Theme Week.

Happily, today is another double hazelnut day, with not one, but two Gianduia bars from Caffarel Chocolate* (Turin, Italy).

Both were velvety blends of chocolate and finely ground hazelnuts with a satisfying, creamy mouthfeel and melt. (And both were labeled gluten free.) The dark chocolate version was, as expected, a little darker in color and flavor.

*Caffarel was founded in the 1800s in northern Italy. Operations continue in Turin, Italy; and the company is now a subsidiary of Swiss chocolate giant, Lindt and Sprungli.




Thursday, March 7, 2019

Caffarel - milk and dark gianduia chocolates - March 7, 2019

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Caffarel
Creamy Gianduia Pralines
Good
Weight: 1.48 oz. (42 g.) / 4.41 oz. (125 g.) in total package
Calories: 240 calories in 5 pieces
Cost: $5.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Walgreens, Palo Alto, CA

Caffarel
Piemonte Gianduia assortment milk and dark with Italian hazelnuts
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.37 oz. (39 g.) / 4.41 oz. (125 g.) in total package
Calories: 240 calories in 3 pieces
Cost: $5.99 for 1 package
Purchased from: Walgreens, Palo Alto, CA

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

What's better than an Italian chocolate with hazelnuts? Two different Italian chocolates with hazelnuts.

Both these individually-wrapped chocolates had a great nutty aroma and flavor. But the highlight was the creamy melt and mouthfeel, characteristic of gianduia from northern Italy, made with chocolate and finely ground hazelnuts.

The Piemonte pieces also included Italian hazelnuts which helped balance out the sweetness and created a pleasing textural contrast between creamy and crunchy.

Caffarel began making chocolate in northern Italy (Turin) in the 1820s. The company still maintains operations there. However, it is now a subsidiary of Swiss chocolate maker Lindt and Sprungli.


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ghirardelli - Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven bar - March 6, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ghirardelli Chocolate
Intense Dark Hazelnut Heaven - Dark Chocolate with Roasted Hazelnuts bar
Good
Weight: 1.34 oz. (38 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 190 calories in 1 serving (3 sections of) bar
Cost: $2.50 (sale) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Walgreens, Palo Alto, CA

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

Intense Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven - Dark Chocolate with Roasted Hazelnuts bar was manufactured by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company (San Leandro, CA).

This bar was part of the "Intense Dark" family of dark chocolate bars produced by Ghirardelli. Today's Hazelnut Heaven flavor was a relatively new addition to the lineup.

The large, slim, Intense Dark Chocolate bar (with deeply roasted nibs) contained bits of crunchy, roasted hazelnuts. The marketing pitch: "A little sophisticated, a little nutty, this is the perfect bar for dreamy picnics and elegant nibbling." It was a bit sweet. (There was no percentage listed; I'm guessing in the sixties.) The bar had a balanced roasted mocha and roasted hazelnut flavor and finish.

This bar contained no gluten containing ingredients. Ghirardelli is working to remove gluten from their chocolates and hope to make almost all products gluten free by the end of next year (2020).

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Perfect Bar - Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp bar - March 5, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Perfect Bar, LLC
Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp bar
Good++
Weight: 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 330 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $1.49 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Hazelnuts Theme Week.

This morning's Chocolate Hazelnut Crisp bar from Perfect Bar (San Diego, CA) had a wonderful aroma—similar to Nutella, the popular hazelnut spread from Ferrero (Piedmont, Italy).

This "limited batch" chocolate hazelnut bar had a satisfying chew and crispiness to it. Sadly, limited batch means you'll probably not be able to find this in stores. Too bad as this bar was quite tasty and contained enough protein to be satisfying as well.) The bar was "made with 12 grams of protein" and "20+ Superfoods."






Monday, March 4, 2019

Sweet55 - Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts bar - March 4, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Sweet55
Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts bar
Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) (estimate) in 1 bar
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $N/A - gift 
Purchased from: N/A - gift

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate Gifts Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Hazelnuts Theme Week.

Today's Milk Chocolate with Hazelnuts bar was from Sweet55 (Half Moon Bay, CA) and was part of an assortment of Swiss chocolate bars with fruits and nuts.   

This bar was chock full of toasted hazelnuts. It was a bit sweet but still a lovely, enjoyable combination of creamy, milk chocolate and crunchy nuts—in a thin bar that allowed full accessibility to flavors and textures.

Thank you to the San Mateo Convention Center and Visitors Bureau for a gift of two bars from Sweet55!



Sunday, March 3, 2019

Lift Chocolate - Passionfruit Caramel Kiss - March 3, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Lift Chocolate
Passionfruit Caramel Kiss
Good
Weight: .4 oz. (11 g.) in one piece
Calories: 60 calories (estimate) in 1 piece, in small box
Cost: $1.62 - heavily marked down sale price (almost a gift)
Purchased from: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Menlo Park, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate Gifts Theme Week.

Today's Passionfruit Caramel Kiss was from Lift Chocolate (Boulder, CO).

This pretty pair of lips contained a soft caramel and passionfruit (puree) center with a hint of citrus (lemon liqueur). 

Sometimes a "gift" comes in the form of a fabulous discount, such as a sale price following a major holiday. Likely these luscious lips were part of a Valentines Day display. No matter. More to spend on other chocolates. Even after 12 years of a new daily chocolate, there are still so many more to try.








Saturday, March 2, 2019

Chuao Chocolatier - Salted Caramels Almond - March 2, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chuao Chocolatier
joy-filled caramels
Good +
Weight: 2.25 oz. (64 g.) in package of 4 caramels
Calories: 320 calories in 4 pieces
Cost: N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift - Thank you Anne!

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate Gifts Theme Week.

These "ooh aah almond" sea salt caramels were part of a Chuao Chocolatier (Carlsbad, CA) family of "joy-filled caramels."

Whole crunchy almonds were surrounded by rich salted caramel and covered in dark chocolate. Great combination. It definitely worked. These disappeared in a hurry.

New flavors continue to appear each year from Chuao Chocolatier's chocolate chef (who is originally from Venezuela) and team.

Thank you Anne for your generous chocolate gifts!




Cuban handmade chocolate, drinking chocolate - Mar. 1, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

(unidentified Cuban chocolate maker)
Chocolate ball
Good - Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) (estimate) in 1 serving
Calories: 145 calories (estimate) in 1 serving
Cost: $N/A - gift
Purchased from: N/A - gift (bought in Cuba)

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate Gifts Theme Week.

Today's ball-shaped chocolate was special. It came all the way from (Baracoa) Cuba. Thank you to Sue who gifted me with this authentic chocolate.

I shaved some of this unsweetened chocolate (from this intriguing, rustic, chocolate ball) into simmering hot water and stirred into the mixture a dash of cinnamon, a few tiny bits of roasted chile, and a few drops of honey.

I stirred this drinking chocolate in a pot over the stove almost continuously for several minutes, until a few bubbles formed on the surface and the chocolate particles seemed fully dissolved.

Notes: A piece of jicama, a very small amount of corn meal and some almonds in the pot reduced acidity a bit and gave this drinking chocolate a very slightly savory and roasted flavor. These inclusions were left behind when the hot chocolate was poured off into a cup.

I enjoyed this hot beverage without any added sugar. Some may want to add a little of their sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, etc.).

The next batch will include a few drops of Mexican vanilla extract.

Photo at top right of young Cuban woman holding chocolate ball (with cacao pods/fruits on table): Courtesy of Susan Neville, taken in Cuba. Thanks again Sue!




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