Monday, June 22, 2020

Vosges - Raw Honey Cacao Chocolate bar - June 22, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Vosges IP, LLC
Raw Honey Cacao Chocolate bar
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $8.00 (plus shipping) for 1 bar
Purchased from: online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Bees and Trees Theme Week.

Today's Raw Honey Cacao bar was from Vosges IP, LLC (Chicago, IL), a company founded by well-traveled chocolatier, Katrina Markoff. (Her first creation was the Naga truffle, inspired by the flavors of India.)

Vosges Chocolate (aka Vosges Haut Chocolat) is a successful brand, known for their innovative, beautiful packaging (with designs and images suitable for framing, and perhaps inspired by fashion, makeup, food stylists and photos); their lovely descriptions of natural and exotic flavor inclusions--and, unfortunately, not for their chocolate. (In fairness, the company have not represented themselves as a single origin, bean-to-bar craft chocolate company that is source-transparent either.)

Today's 100% cacao chocolate base was made with cacao that was alkalized--a process, often used by large, bulk chocolate manufacturers to cut acidity and create a much milder chocolate flavor. This process also hides flaws in lower grade cacao, by neutralizing strong or objectionable flavor elements. Unfortunately,  desirable fruit, floral and other cacao flavor notes are also lost. Think American-style powdered hot chocolate made with alkalized cocoa vs. thick, dark and flavorful South American drinking chocolate. Some prefer the former for its predictable, mild cocoa flavor, usually mixed with a healthy dose of sugar and a comforting hint of added vanillin or vanilla extract or marshmallows.

The chocolate used for Vosges and Wild Ophelia bars has a bulk, commercial taste to it, often with a slightly waxy melt. The focus seems to let the (quite wonderful) flavor inclusions shine. Less flavorful chocolate doesn't overwhelm the featured flavors. Or it could be that the Vosges customer base doesn't care for the stronger taste of bean-to-bar chocolate. Or, it could be that using bulk chocolate is just a lot more economical. (Financial risks tend to be higher for bean-to-bar chocolate makers.) There is very little information about where the cacao or chocolate comes from on the Vosges website.

Today's raw honey bar was described as being: "Divinely decadent, Midwestern raw honey wildflower nectar harmonizes the intensity of the 100% cacao experience." 

It was certainly the tamest "100% cacao" bar I'd ever tasted. It had a mild cocoa aroma with a faint coconut note. The honey* did sweeten this chocolate nicely, I'm not sure how it could be labeled "100% Cacao" with honey in it, but that is another topic. (Perhaps the 100% label could be legally allowable if the honey is only a tiny percent by weight.)

In keeping with the Bees and Trees theme this week, I will also mention that Vosges offers a Tree Mylk bar (made with hazelnuts), in addition to bars and truffles with honey. Again, the flavor combinations are always wonderful. I hope there might be a higher end chocolate one day to match Katrina's inspired blends of spices, flowers, fruits, and other lovelies.

*Ingredients: Unsweetened chocolate processed with alkali, raw honey, cocoa butter

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...