Thursday, July 16, 2020

K+M Extravirgin Chocolate - Dark Chocolate 75% Peru bar - July 16, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

K+M Extravirgin Chocolate
(Thomas Keller + Armando Manni)
Dark Chocolate 75% Cocoa Peru bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 375 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Equator Coffees, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA

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

Today's Dark Chocolate 75% Cocoa Peru bar was from K+M Extravirgin Chocolate (Napa, CA), a collaboration between chef Thomas Keller and olive oil maker Armando Manni. The results: a series of interesting chocolates created in the heart of Northern California wine country, a region famous for fine food as well.

This single origin cacao (Peru) bean-to-bar chocolate had an earthy fruit and deep dark chocolate aroma and flavor, and a hint of very balanced bitterness. All these characteristics helped prevent the chocolate from tasting too sweet (thank you!).

The inclusion of Manni's organic, extra virgin olive oil. instead of added cocoa butter, gave this bar a silky smooth melt and mouthfeel.

This bar paired well with a savory meal and salty items. One could almost imagine it as a high-end steak sauce ingredient or accompaniment.

The maker's tasting notes read: "...notes of orange blossom and quince." 

I would agree with the description of the floral note: it was balanced but bolder (more like citrus blossom or a slightly woodsy, fermented bergamot orange) than a light, green floral note you might find, e.g., in some Ecuador cacao bars. As for the fruit note, I might go with dried cherries and pears that had been slightly aged in a barrel. Both these flavor notes had a depth and complexity you might find more in a fermented food or beverage. 

Also each olive oil contains flavor elements that would influence the overall chocolate taste. It was not clear if a smooth blend of olive oils (e.g. on the smooth, round, buttery or nutty side, or an olive oil with peppery, or grassier notes) might have been included or not. It must have been challenging, but fun, to pick the most complementary flavor blend for this particular cacao.

Ingredients: organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic Manni extra-virgin olive oil, organic soy lecithin.

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