Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Siamaya Chocolate - Thai Peanut Curry (bar) - Sept. 15, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Siamaya Chocolate
Thai Peanut Curry (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 334 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate Surprise Theme Week.

Today's Thai Peanut Curry (bar) was from Siamaya Chocolate / Siamaya Craft Co., Ltd. (Chang Mai, Thailand).

Siamaya makes bean-to-bar chocolate. They blend locally grown, pesticide free Thai cacao beans with locally inspired, and for us perhaps surprising and unique, Thai flavor inclusions. 

Today's gluten free and vegan Thai peanut curry bar was inspired by Thai massaman peanut curry. The maker(s) have layered sweet dark chocolate with chilies, cinnamon, lemon-grass and candied ginger.

This bar had an aroma with sweet and spicy peanuts fresh out of the roaster, and subtle chocolate notes.

After the first taste, the peanut bits were soon relegated to textural elements with faint nutty notes. Why? When I bit into the bar, pieces of candied ginger stole the show. And just when I thought the ginger might becoming too bossy, sassy upticks of chili sizzle and spice heat rose to the forefront. The finish was calmer, with hints of lemongrass and ginger. 

This hearty chocolate highlighted authentic Thai flavors, and offered an exciting, fun, full flavor ride. The chocolate was sweet, but not too sweet.

Peanut history

Peanuts are a culinary staple in many countries in Asia, and around the globe. This humble legume originated in South America (Peru, Brazil), and likely overlapped with the original cacao-growing regions. Indigenous people may have even ground nuts, cacao seeds (aka cacao beans), chilies and spices (allspice, vanilla) together for inclusion in beverages and foods (think early mole sauces).

Europeans (Spanish, Portuguese, English) brought peanuts back to Europe and elsewhere. The Portuguese likely brought peanuts to Africa from Brazil as early as the 1600s. Peanuts were also introduced to Asia. (The earliest written records of planting peanuts in Thailand date back to the mid-1800s.)

By the 1700s, Africans (slaves) had brought peanuts back to the Americas, specifically to North America; and peanuts were planted and cultivated, especially in the southern U.S. They were, at first, thought of as a food for the poor and for livestock.

Sometimes foods, things and people come full circle, or are discovered and popularized in another culture before they're appreciated in their home town or country.

Ingredients: cacao nibs (44%), organic cane sugar (24%), peanuts (17%), candied ginger (9%), cacao butter (4%), spices (1%), chilies (0.7%), sunflower lecithin (0.3%).

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