Thursday, June 18, 2020

Dick Taylor - Vanilla Milk Chocolate bar - June 18, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Dick Taylor
Microbatch Vanilla Milk Chocolate bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 300 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Dick Taylor, online order

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Microbatch 55% Vanilla Milk Chocolate bar was made by Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate (Eureka, CA)--in early spring 2020 as news about Covid-19 virus related shutdowns and quarantines was spreading around the globe. This bar was described as a special treat, a comforting bar for uncertain times, in the makers' write-up.

Expectations run high with any chocolate from Dick Taylor founders Adam Dick and Dustin Taylor. Past reviews of chocolate from this duo include glowing adjectives and phrases like they "put the craft in craft chocolate." (True statement.) They consistently deliver great chocolate. And today's bar was no exception.

A similar milk chocolate bar in less capable hands might be smooth, uniformly ultra-sweet and over vanilla'ed and perhaps a little gummy. And any unique single origin chocolate aroma/flavor notes might be muted or undetectable.

When I gently tore open this brown paper wrapper, the first aroma was a pleasing dark chocolate and not vanilla. Then a very natural vanilla bean note appeared, then dark milk chocolate, and then another, slightly different vanilla whiff. Layered, high-quality flavors. The sign of a very capable maker. 

First contact revealed a texture that was beyond creamy. The ultra-satisfying melt and mouthfeel was partly due to the milk used -- Alexandre Family Farm "A2/A2" whole (possibly 6%) fat milk.*

Chocolate (with faint notes of tart fruit and balanced earth) and vanilla flavors washed over the palette in politely impeccable creamy, subtly flavored waves, that receded just as gracefully.

I am inspired by the hard work and skills of great makers who send love letters to us in the form of great products and special micro-batches. In this case inspiration was derived from a wonderfully flavored vanilla milk chocolate bar.

*Not all milk is the same. Modern dairy milk sold in your local grocery store contains at least some (or all) A1 beta-casein protein. Today's Dick Taylor bar was made with A2/A2 whole milk from Alexandre Family Farm in Crescent City in Northern California. (The company offers a 6% whole milk.) Why is A2 milk protein better? Short answer: the more traditional A2 milk protein can be easier to digest than modern cow milk containing A1 protein.

(Water) buffalo and certain dairy cow milk(s) contain A2 proteins. The buffalo milk I tasted locally also had a great, creamy texture and mild/clean flavor. (I reviewed a buffalo milk hot chocolate and another chocolate bar made with buffalo milk a few years ago.)

Ingredients: Organic cacao, organic cane sugar, organic A2/A2 whole milk powder, organic cocoa butter, organic vanilla bean

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