Tuesday, November 5, 2019

White Label Chocolate - Tanzania Kilombero 68% (bar) - Nov. 5, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

White Label Chocolate
Tanzania Kilombero 68% (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.14 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.29 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 171 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Mutari Chocolate, Santa Cruz, CA

Welcome to Day #11 of Chocolate and Africa Theme Week.

Today's Tanzania Kilombero 68% (bar) was from White Label Chocolate, purchased at Mutari Chocolate (Santa Cruz, CA). Mutari offers single origin drinking chocolate and bars.

The chocolate in this White Label bar was made using Trinitario variety cacao beans (Amelonado x Nacional). This cacao was grown in a relatively wet, tropical region of Tanzania about 200 meters (approximately 656 feet) above sea level.

This dark bar was well executed and interesting. It had a chocolate aroma with fruit notes, a smooth melt, and initial creamy flavor that blossomed into full, bright tropical citrus + red sweet fruit with faint, fleeting five spice/herb/balanced earth notes.

The chocolate had a subtle, complex finish that began softly, then came subtle balanced bittersweet, and almost nutty notes. Following a few seconds of calm, there was a very tiny throat tickle of delayed sweet-sour astringency.

Maker's tasting notes: cream, nuts citrus rind

Notes about shelf life: This bar was recently expired, but seemed to have maintained good flavor and texture. I will try to re-taste a "freshly made" version of this bar in the near future. While most bars are better (less brittle, more flavorful, more attractive) before their expiration date, a few bars actually seem to benefit from some shelf time—mellowing a bit with age. 

Chocolate Storage Tips

For best results, store chocolate bars in a cool, dry place, at a consistent temperature (60-70 degrees F., or 16-21 degrees Celsius is ideal), to prevent the chocolate from going out of temper and from "bloom," which shows up as a white film or blotching on chocolates. A wine refrigerator (turned up to its higher temperature range) might also be a suitable place to store bars, as long as humidity is not too high.

Chocolate truffles and filled confections (some containing cream) have a much shorter shelf life than solid chocolate bars (often less than a week for optimal freshness), so it may be OK to refrigerate these for a short period if they are covered/well-wrapped to prevent against any condensation or absorption of other fridge flavors.
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