Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Loving Earth - Chocolate 72% Raw bar + Nina Coconut bar - Apr. 14, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Loving Earth
Dark Organic Chocolate with 72% Raw Ashaninka Cacao with Coconut Sugar, Amazon (bar)
Weight: 1.25 oz. (35 g.) / 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 200 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $2.99 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #11 of Chocolate and Coconut Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week. We celebrated this day with two chocolate bars with ties to Amazonian and Peruvian cacao culture, and unique origin stories.

Peru is one of the Central and South American countries were cacao was first cultivated by indigenous people thousands of years ago.

Today's Dark Organic Chocolate with 72% Raw Ashaninka Cacao (Peruvian Amazon) bar with coconut sugar (bar) was from Loving Earth Inc., Upper St. Clair, PA (and was made in Australia).

This relatively light bar had a light coconut and nutty flavor. The chocolate was made with raw cacao (that tends to have a milder flavor due to low temperature constraints (no roasting)). There was no added cacao butter. Rather, there was an interesting melt and nutty smoothness from finely ground nuts/nut butter ingredients: cashews, hazelnuts and almonds.

The cacao beans used to make this vegan bean-to-bar chocolate "traveled 100 miles by canoe to get to the nearest road. From the remote Rio Ene, one of the main sources of the Amazon River, they are an indigenous wild variety of criollo cacao, harvested from the Amazon jungle by the Ashaninko people of the Kemito Ene Cooperative."

Maker's tasting notes for this chocolate printed on the package read as follows: (notes of) aniseed and fennel (and...) toffee notes (from the) coconut sugar...to create a unique flavor with hints of coffee."

Nina* Fine Chocolate Macambo + Coconut bar
I also enjoyed (re-tasted) a bit of a Nina* Chocolates 45% Cacao Macambo (Majambo) + Coconut (bar) (originally featured here on Chocolate Banquet last year).

This bar was made, from tree to bar, in Peru, using single origin cacao from Chazuta (a village and district, in the San Martin province/region, in north central Peru at the edge of the Amazon basin). Majambo (Theobroma bicolor) is a cacao (Theobroma cacao) relative.

*"Nina is a Qoya, the Amazon Princess, wife of the Inca, who was instructed to meet the world invisible to our eyes. Her name in Quechua translates as fire and in the Peruvian Amazon symbolizes: initiation, transformation and purification. She knows the hidden secret of the cacao seed, its spirit and also its great nutritional power. And by just impregnating the seed with the breath of her sacred fire on full moon nights, it is transformed into chocolate, releasing a myriad of delicate tastes." 

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