Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Vosges - Manchego and Cherry Chocolate Bar - July 15, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Vosges IP, LLC
Manchego and Cherry Chocolate Bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 420 calories for 1 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Vosges, online order

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Savory Theme Week. 

Today's Manchego and Cherry Chocolate Bar was from Vosges IP, LLC (Chicago, IL). Vosges founder, Katrina Markoff, has been an innovator when it comes to savory and exotic flavor inclusions. Her world travels and relationships with suppliers have continued to inspire new flavors.

Katrina founded Vosges in the late 1990s. (Vosges was one of the first premium brands to elevate sweet chocolate and savory bacon from county fair food into an art form.) Being a savory chocolate fan myself and having organized informal chocolate and cheese tastings many years ago, I was interested to read that Vosges might be launching a cheese-inspired series of chocolate bars this year (2020).

This 67% cacao bar had an aroma informed by authentic D.O.P.* 12-month aged Manchego cheese, tart Montmorency cherry fruit and chocolate--exactly what one might expect from the bar's title. 

Cheese and a bit of emulsifier gave this bar smooth, slightly oily melt with rich, smooth texture and a very slightly gummy mouthfeel with some tiny bits of slightly crunchy flavor inclusions (Was it cheese? Himalaya salt? cherries? It was hard to tell; but a few un-homogenized bits can help to layer flavors.)

The slightly buttery, nutty, salty Italian sheep's milk-based hard (Manchego) cheese, which shone in the aroma, was slightly less pronounced when chewed with a bite of chocolate. Although the cheese did mute the sweetness of the chocolate (thank you).

The combined flavor inclusions in this "proprietary bittersweet chocolate" resulted in a lingering almost honey-nutty finish with an occasional, faint squeak of cherry, and a slow receding parade of flavors. If I waited long enough I could detect a savory sparkle of cheese. (Does cheese sparkle? Well, yes, a good cheese does coat and please the palette in an exciting way.) And, as today's bar shows, the right chocolate and cheese can pair very well.

*Each country in the European Union (EU) has local food product designation guidelines. In Italy, D.O.P.  refers to a certification process that helps designate, protect and authenticate a food's origin and packaging in Italy. The literal translation in English is "Protected Designation of Origin." Manchego cheese, produced in La Mancha region of Spain (yes, home to Don Quixote), falls under these D.O.P. guidelines. 

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...