Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fine and Raw Chocolate - Cashew Butter 54% bar - June 25, 2019

Chocolate of the Day:

Fine and Raw Chocolate
Cashew Butter 54% bar
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 2 oz. (56 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Cashews Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Peruvian Superfoods* Theme Week—featuring chocolates that contain two or more of the following items: cacao, maca, lucuma, camu-camu and/or quinoa.

These items generally arrive in North America (and likely Europe and Asia as well) in powdered or partially processed form, and we rarely see the original source vegetable, fruit, nut, seed or plant associated with their respective claimed health benefits. Nonetheless it is interesting to try these exotic plants and botanicals that co-evolved with cacao trees in Central and South America.

Today's Cashew Butter 54% bar was handmade, from bean-to-bar, by Fine and Raw Chocolate / Fine and Raw LLC (Brooklyn, NY), and contained cacao and lucuma. The base chocolate was relatively mild (often the case with unroasted/raw cacao).

Lucuma is a round fruit with green skin and golden flesh that imparts a multi-layered sweet flavor. (Some liken it to a cross between an avocado and a mango, with mild sweet potato, caramel and maple flavor notes.) Like cacao fruit**, it starts to ferment quickly after harvesting, making it difficult to ship to other parts of the world.

This raw, gluten free, and Kosher chocolate was smooth, and had a relatively creamy melt and texture due to organic cashews (butter) and added cacao butter that were both fully blended with the cacao.

It was sweetened with organic coconut sugar and lucuma and was not too sweet, especially unusual for a lower % cacao bar (thank you!). The lucuma did in fact add subtle aroma and flavor notes mentioned above (sweet potato, caramel, maple). Ground vanilla bean added a light, sunny, upbeat floral note.

Ingredients: organic cacao bean(s), organic coconut sugar, organic cashew nut, organic cacao butter, organic ground lucuma, organic whole ground vanilla

*While I inherently dislike the term Superfoods, and believe it is overused, it is difficult to come up with another term that summarizes this category.

**Cacao fruit/pulp is quite delicious but, unless you live in Hawaii, or perhaps south Florida, the odds are if you live in the U.S. or Canada that you've only tasted it in its refreshing, ivory-colored, frozen pulp form that tastes nothing like chocolate.

Keep Healthy Fruitkies - Chocolate Covered Mango bar - June 24, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Keep Healthy Fruitkies
Chocolate Covered Mango bar
Weight: 1.6 oz. (45 g.) in total bar
Calories: 132 calories in 1/2  bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, Menlo Park, CA

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

Today's Chocolate Covered Mango bar was made in the U.S. and distributed by Keep Healthy Inc. (Northport, NY).

The bar had a medium-soft chew and contained a relatively light colored, sweet filling (dried mango, cane sugar and citric acid). The chocolate coating yielded a subtle, smooth chocolate flavor.

This bar did not contain cashews. But, to keep the connection with Cashew Theme Week, it was consumed with a handful of cacao nibs and cashews. And, did you know that mangoes are part of the cashew family?*

*Mangoes and cashews are also related to poison oak, poison ivy and poison sumac; so being botanical relatives isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

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