Friday, June 19, 2020

Dick Taylor - Bee Pollen and Fennel 70% Brazil Dark Chocolate (bar) - June 19, 2020

Chocolate of the Day:

Dick Taylor
Bee Pollen and Fennel 70% Brazil Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 300 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $9.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate, Bees and Trees Theme Week.

Today's Bee Pollen and Fennel 70% Brazil Dark Chocolate - Seasonal Release bar was made by Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate (Eureka, CA).

Fennel was a great choice for this seasonal bar. It has a naturally sweet, licorice-like aromatic scent and aroma. It's June and bees and other pollinators are feasting on spring flowers. These helpful insects rely on different plants later in the year, including fennel.*

The first whiff of this bar was all bold, deep dark (Forastero-like) cocoa, with a slight roasted coffee note. Returning to this bar 3-5 minutes later, the aroma was a more balanced blend of dark (more Trinitario-like) cocoa balanced with light herbal (fennel, caraway) and floral (pollen) notes. (Yes, another example of why one should eat a good chocolate slowly...and re-taste at intervals if you have patience. Flavors do un-fold.)

The back of this ebony-colored bar was a tapestry of gold and green. The base chocolate had a creamy melt and texture; and the smooth chocolate with light tart fruit notes was accented by slightly crunchy fennel* seeds and a healthy smattering of bee pollen. 

The tasting experience melded garden spice and aromatic and flavorful sweet fennel notes with buttery honey and floral pollen notes--all without being too sweet (thank you!).

The flavors lingered pleasantly in the finish. What a fun and enjoyable bar.

*Currently, towering stalks of fennel (trees almost) are covered with delicate green (edible) fronds; they will become a valuable food later in the year. Although sometimes considered an invasive plant here in California, every part of the fennel plant is edible, and beneficial insects and birds love fennel. 

When the fennel forest in my side yard puts out grains of sweet, delicious yellow pollen in summer, bees and other pollinators (along with a few human tasters) will be enjoying this yellow "candy.". By September, green fennel seeds can be harvested and eaten and used in cookies, cakes, digestives...and chocolate. Birds will nibble on the rest.

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