Fine and Raw Chocolate
Habanero Salt 70% Cacao (bar)
Weight: .5 oz. (14.1 g.) in total bar / 2 oz. (56 g.) in total bar
Calories: 82.5 calories (per label) in 1/4 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar (plus shipping)
Purchased from: Fine and Raw Chocolate, online order
Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Cowgirl Theme Week.
Today's Habanero Salt 70% Cacao (bar) was from Fine and Raw Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY).
Aroma is an important aspect of chocolate tasting. The smell of a chocolate can be very similar to its taste, or it can be different in a surprising way (e.g. the first time you take a bite of a 100% cacao bar with no sugar or sweeteners or a dark chocolate with multiple layers of flavor that seem to blossom in your mouth).
Some flavor inclusions in bars may have a very weak aroma, but pack a flavor wallop, like hot chili peppers.
So, it was with some anticipation that I bit into today's Habanero Salt 70% bar containing organic habanero* powder. The bar smelled like relatively mild chocolate with a trace of coconut sugar and a very faint salt or savory vegetable note.
The habanero flavor was tied to small salt crystals. And unless you bit into a piece with more crunchy salt flecks, the burn on your lips and the tears in your eyes will be very manageable. The heat index (at least in the pieces I sampled) was relatively low, due to judicious use of this powerful pepper (thank you!).
There was also not a big heat flare at the finish of the tasting curve. So fear not. Unless you want to steer completely free of chilis altogether, you'll probably be OK, and you'll still be able to taste the chocolate.
And speaking of the chocolate, this 70% cacao gluten free bar with habanero salt was made using "50% roast and 50% raw," ethically sourced cacao, from bean-to-bar, with no refined sugar.
Ingredients: Organic cacao bean(s), organic coconut sugar, organic cacao butter, organic habanero powder, sea salt.
*Habanero peppers are from the Americas, in the West. Early Spanish explorers found them and spread them across the globe. They are widely cultivated in Mexico. They can also be found growing in Belize and other Latin American countries and remains of these peppers have been found from centuries ago, as far south as Peru, and as far north as the southwestern U.S.
As every cowboy and cowgirl knows, a little of this small, fiery cherry red pepper goes a long way in a chile, stew or sauce. (Image of ripe, red habanero pepper above is from www.habaneromadness.com)
On that note, we're taking this chocolate on a hike around some California sagebrush and Coastal Live Oak trees, and we'll say hello to the cows for you.
**Cows Eat Chocolate?
Oh, and by the way, did you know that some specialty ranchers feed their cows chocolate? Yes, chocolate is a small part of a special diet that helps build unique flavor. A herd of Cadbury's chocolate-fed Wagyu beef cattle at Mayura Station in Australia are on the menu of some pretty fancy Michelin-starred restaurants. (Note: Please don't feed cows chocolate without their owners permission. Not all animals can eat cacao.)