Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Nordi - Juniper and Amber Caramel Dark Chocolate (bar) - June 23, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Fazer Confectionery
Nordi Juniper and Amber Caramel Naturally Flavored Dark Chocolate (bar)
Weight: 1.67 oz. (47.5 g.) / 3.35 oz. (95 g.) in total bar
Calories: 255 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $1.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Bees and Trees Theme Week.

Today's Nordi Juniper and Amber Caramel Naturally Flavored Dark Chocolate (bar) was from Fazer Confectionery (Vantaa, Finland).

Fazer is a large Finnish company that produces a range of baked goods (e.g. organic rye bread), confectionery items (e.g. chocolate sandwich and other cookies) and chocolate bars and confections.

The aroma of today's 70% cocoa, Non-GMO project verified dark chocolate bar was both simple and complex. Different intervals yielded different notes -- simple, smooth dark chocolate at one pass, then sweet, almost savory (salt) and vaguely herbal floral and fruit related aromas. Every third bite or so yielded a faint hint of natural juniper*/pine aroma/flavor.

The smooth dark chocolate base was punctuated with sweet sparkles of crunchy caramel (sugar, glucose).

The flavors were relatively subtle and well balanced. I wouldn't have minded tasting a version that had a bit more juniper and a pinch of sea salt. 

*Junipers are needle-leafed evergreens that range from large shrubs to tall trees up to 40 feet (13 meters) in temperate zones. They can be found spread throughout northern latitudes. Juniper berries (the female seed cones produced by many juniper species) are the most commonly eaten part of a juniper tree and these berries have been used by Europeans and Native Americans in food and medicines for centuries. 

For the epicurious: Juniper berries are used in meat and stew recipes, in marinades, syrups, and as a flavoring for gin and other beverages. 

Trees in general provide many edible items that can be paired with chocolate. Spruce, pine and birch (downy and silver) trees are commonly encountered trees in Finland (where this chocolate bar was made). In many countries pine nuts, pine needles and pine bark have been consumed; so juniper berries would not have been such a great leap from here. (Sahti beer in Finland includes a juniper flavoring.)

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