Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Mission Chocolate - Escuro 70 % Fazenda Camboa 2018 Harvest bar - Oct. 15, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mission Chocolate
Escuro 70% Fazenda Camboa 2018 Harvest bar
Good +++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 162 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

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

Today's Escuro 70% Fazenda Camboa 2018 Harvest Dark Chocolate bar was from Arcelia Gallardo of Mission Chocolate (Sao Paolo, Brazil).

This offering had an appealing chocolate aroma and smooth melt and texture. The 70% cacao dark bar had true chocolate flavor, with soft, balanced touches of faintly fermented dairy milk*, clay/earth, and light sweet forest berry/forest floor.

The finish was pleasant and lingering with a very light astringency.

Making Chocolate "In Country"
Up until recent years, the opportunities for U.S. consumers to try chocolate made in the same country where the cacao had been grown were relatively few and far between. Chocolate making in the U.S. almost always involves transcontinental supply chains.

Arcelia Gallardo moved to Brazil from the U.S. and found herself much closer to cacao growing farms (such as the large organic farm, Fazenda Camboa in Bahia that she works extensively with now).  It must have been exciting to produce "fresher" chocolate in the same country where cacao was grown (i.e. making chocolate "in country").

Over time, she also experienced some of the challenges of making chocolate in a tropical environment (e.g. more frequent power outages), and learned the value of techniques such as resting/seasoning chocolate. (How ironic that initially some of her chocolate might have been "too" fresh because she was so close to the harvest source.)

In a (Well Tempered) podcast interview, Gallardo talked about learning the value of letting chocolate rest a bit first before making bars to enhance/create the optimum flavor profile. When she had made chocolate at/with Dandelion Chocolate in San Francisco, the long transportation chain that existed between farms and their small factory facility had "built in" aging time, due to the longer supply chain.

*There was no dairy or milk in this bar that contained only three ingredients: organic cacao, organic sugar and cocoa butter.

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