Chocolate of the Day
70% Dark Shrimp and Bonito (bar)
Weight: .44 oz. (12.5 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 66 calories (estimate) in 1/4 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA
Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate Surprise Theme Week.
Today's 70% Dark Shrimp and Bonito and (bar) was from Fossa Chocolate (Singapore).
Billed as offering an "umami of the sea" experience, this bar delivered. When you opened this bar, you could see authentic marine life--tiny little dried shrimps nestled amongst the sesame seeds.
But, the sight of these tiny crustaceans were not the surprise. (I have enjoyed chocolates with smoked salmon as well as dried anchovies and many other umami (savory) flavor inclusions before.) Nor was it the slightly fishy aroma that emanated from the bar--that became much fainter after taking a bite of the chocolate.
Surprise! This bar contained 6 of the 8 major food allergens,* including gluten (wheat flour), although it was not present in visible amount(s). I've been dodging wheat/gluten all my adult life. I like it; it doesn't like me. So, I limited my tasting to a smaller piece of this 70% dark bar, and shared it with others.
The dark chocolate was bold enough that it covered up what might have been a "fishy" flavor. The dried shrimps and bonito fish flecks contributed a bit of chewy texture and a hint of saltiness and no scary fishiness. If blindfolded, it's unlikely I would have been able to identify the specific type of seafood (shrimp, bonito) flavor inclusions.
The bar was not too sweet or too salty (thank you). It was a skillful, balanced, implementation of these unusual flavors. Definitely worth trying if you can get over the fear factor. (Tiny dried shrimps are almost adorable when you become accustomed to them.)
*Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar, dried shrimp, seaweed, sesame, soy sauce, lactose, salt, egg, spices, yeast extract, wheat flour.
*Note: "Contains seafood, sesame, egg, dairy, gluten and soy."