Monday, October 28, 2019

Latitude Trade Company - 70% Dark Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Semuliki Forest 2017 Harvest (bar) - Oct. 28, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Latitude Trade Company
70% Dark Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Semuliki Forest 2017 Harvest (bar)
Good ++
Weight: .795 oz. (22.5 g.) / 1.59 oz. (45 g.) in total bar
Calories: 120 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's 70% Dark Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Semuliki Forest 2017 Harvest (bar) was from Latitude Trade Company (Bundibugyo and Kasese, Uganda) and was made, from bean to bar, in Uganda, using just two ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar.

Latitude Trade Co. is a self-described "...agricultural development and sourcing company active in the cocoa value chain in Uganda." They are helping to bridge "the gap between rural farmers in East Africa and consumers throughout the world." Their goals include more economic development in country and putting Uganda on the map for great cacao.*

And speaking of latitude, cacao only grows approximately twenty degrees above and below the Equator—an invisible band around the middle of our planet. The world's most delicious ingredients used to make award-winning chocolate are found only in this zone in Africa, South America, Asia and certain Pacific island nations. The Equator runs through Uganda, in the south above Lake Victoria, offering strong geographic potential for fine cacao.

This simply packaged, single origin dark chocolate had a rich aroma with sweet chocolate, slight green vegetation/forest and light spice and fruit notes, with a bit of faint earth.

The bar had a smooth, even texture and taste with well-rounded, complex yet friendly, upbeat chocolate flavor and a pleasing finish with no off notes.

The cacao, harvested in 2017 (and is the custom in chocolate making is often allowed to rest a bit before making it into bars) came from Semuliki, a forested preserve area near a large lake (Lake Albert), near the DRC border, in western Uganda.*

*The Republic of Uganda (about the size of the U.S. State of Oregon, but more heavily populated) is located in East-Central Africa, north of Tanzania—another country that has become known for its cacao; west of Kenya; and east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

Many in Uganda earn less than one U.S. dollar a day, so adding value in country that leads to economic development/prosperity for local farmers and workers is important.

Agricultural crops (about 25 percent of GDP) in Uganda include tea, coffee, tobacco and cotton. And in regions where tea and coffee are can generally find or grow cacao.

Ghana and Ivory Coast are currently the top cacao producing countries in Africa. These two West African nations together supply half the world's cacao. If you include neighboring countries, Nigeria and Cameroon, this 50% number jumps to 70%. Millions of people enjoy chocolate made with cacao grown in Africa.

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