Friday, August 2, 2019

Chokola Bean to Bar LLC - Belize Maya Mountain Bar; Taos Bakes Pinon Coffee Dark Chocolate (bar) - Aug. 2, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chokola Bean to Bar LLC
Belize Maya Mountain 70% bar
Good ++
Weight: 1.02 oz. (29 g.) / 2.04 oz. (58 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chokola, Taos, NM

Welcome to Day #9 or Chocolate and Cowgirl Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and New Mexico Theme Week.

Taos, a mountain town in northeast New Mexico, has a population of almost 6,000 residents.* There are real cowgirls in Taos, a city that has small businesses and organizations like Cowgirl Designs, a small shop that offers graphic design and branding services to the Taos community; the Taos Rodeo (with junior cowboy and cowgirl categories); and cowgirl farmers we met.

We passed several locations and ranches on the outskirts of town that could have been featured in Western films.

There are also a growing number of craft chocolate makers in New Mexico, including at least one in downtown Taos: Chokola Bean to Bar LLC.

We picked up a few Chokola items, including today's Belize Maya Mountain 70% cacao bar, adorned with an image of what resembled a Pronghorn** in their shop. They offered single origin bars, filled chocolates, drinking chocolates and a chocolate pudding bar. Customers could also purchase a chocolate flight to try items side-by-side.

This chocolate had a true chocolate and concentrated fruit aroma and a fairly bright but acidic fruit flavor (think lemon, apricot, and fresh pineapple) that was present throughout the tasting experience. The texture was smooth and fairly creamy, almost fudgey.

The makers tasting notes read: "pineapple, honey and caramel."

We also re-tasted a second New Mexico bar today: the Pinon Coffee Dark Chocolate (bar) from Taos Bakes (Questa, NM), pictured with the Chokola bar at right. We'd tried a very similar version of this energy bar back in 2018, under the company name Taos Mountain Energy Bar. Same location and company, but they decided to re-brand). Pinon coffee is made with a blend of real coffee plus a hint of toasted pine nuts from pinon (aka pinyon) pine trees--commonly seen growing in the Land of Enchantment.

*Taos, New Mexico, according to 2017 numbers had a population of 5,668. There are, at certain times of the year, many out of town visitors as well, who come to sightsee, enjoy the relatively moderate SW climate and the mountain scenery, and to ski in the winter. 

** While the image may not have been of a Pronghorn, frequently called Pronghorn Antelope, an animal native to the Western U.S. that can run up to 65 miles per hour, it reminded us of its story. This animal once lived and grazed in grasslands across the the Western U.S. and midwest. Their range and their decline paralleled that of the American Bison.

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