Sunday, July 28, 2019

Fine and Raw Chocolate - Mesquite No Sugar Added (bar); Ginger 67% (bar) - July 28, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Fine and Raw Chocolate
Mesquite No Sugar Added 58% cacao (bar)
Good +
Weight: .5 oz. (14.1 g.) / 2 oz. (56 g.) in total bar
Calories: 63 calories (per label) in 1/4 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Fine and Raw Chocolate, online order

Fine and Raw Chocolate
Ginger 67% cacao (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 164 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $25.00 for 5-bar collection set
Purchased from: Fine and Raw Chocolate, online order

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

Today's Mesquite No Sugar Added 58% cacao and Ginger 67% cacao bars were both made by Fine and Raw Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY).

Rounding up cows out on the range conjures up thoughts of hard work, dusty rides through high chaparral and mesquite tree country, and music around a fire. And speaking of mesquite...

...Mesquite wood smoke is used for barbeques. But lesser known is the fact that the beans these trees produce are edible and can be ground into a flour and eaten.

Roasted mesquite beans are said to have notes of slightly sweet vanilla, cream, caramel, coconut and/or chocolate. They were a food source for native peoples in Mexico and the Southwest U.S., who referred to mesquite as the tree of life, because of its many uses.

People continue to use mesquite flour ground from seeds (pods shown at right), bean pod pulp, in items including gluten free pine nut cookies, roasted mesquite bean "coffee," protein drinks/bars, mesquite bean jelly, and, of course, chocolates.

Today's raw Mesquite bar contained cacao and mesquite powder and none of the usual sugar sweeteners: i.e., coconut, cane, maple or birch sugar. Instead this chocolate was lightly sweetened with organic ground lucuma (a South American fruit with a mild sweet flavor and thick creamy, slightly starchy texture).

This Mesquite bar had a surprisingly sweet and warmly spicy chocolate aroma, and a faint trace of light fruit (apple custard), sweet potato and honey notes in the flavor and finish. The three American native plants: cacao, lucuma and mesquite worked well together. This chocolate had a thick, creamy texture and a very slight granularity.

If you like ginger, you might like Fine and Raw Chocolate's 67% dark ginger bar, made with organic ginger powder.

The ginger was thoroughly incorporated and not visible to the naked eye. However, it was evident in the aroma and flavor of this bar and lingered into the finish. The melt was even, and the texture was slightly granular.

The added ginger gave the "50% raw and 50% roast(ed)" cacao bar a warm, satisfying zing. Ginger is from Asia originally, but we've adopted it as one of our own.* (Many of us have fond childhood memories of homemade ginger molasses cookies.)

We paired this Ginger bar with a sweet, spicy kick of music from Ginger Cowgirl, (aka Stacy Antonel, originally from the Bay Area, who moved to Nashville in 2017. We wish her well. She's got a great sound. (Photo source: Ginger Cowgirl website.)

*True, ginger is from Asia and not the wild west. However, there are very capable horsewomen—cowgirls in spirit—in Asia too. Just ask someone who has visited Mongolia or ridden in the Mongolian Derby. (Photo Source for image of Mongolian girl riding horse: Daily Travel Photos)

The spice closest to ginger that's native to the Americas and has co-evolved with chocolate historically would likely be allspice. Allspice is not uncommon in Caribbean-adjacent cuisines, local chocolates and drinking chocolate.

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