Friday, October 2, 2020

Cacao Crudo - Nocciolato Hazelnut Crunch (Nougat aux Noisettes) (bar) - Oct. 1, 2020 (part 2/2)

Chocolate of the Day

Cacao Crudo S.r.l.
Nocciolato Hazelnut Crunch (Nougat aux Noisettes) (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g.) / 7.065 oz. (200 g.) in total bar
Calories: 328.5 calories in 1.76 oz. (50 g.) of bar
Cost: $ N/A - sample 
Purchased from: N/A - sample from Cacao Crudo

Welcome to Day #11 of Chocolate, Nuts and More Theme Week.

Today's Nocciolato Hazelnut Crunch (Nougat aux Noisettes) (bar) was from Cacao Crudo S.r.l. (Rome, Italy).

The company produces a variety of chocolate bars. Their body of work demonstrates how far we've come in the last 20 years with unroasted cacao and raw chocolate products. The company focus is on blending high quality ingredients, such as unroasted, high-quality (Criollo) cacao with a smooth, wonderful chocolate flavor, with some wonderful, authentic-tasting flavor inclusions.

Arguably, the best hazelnuts in Europe, come from northern and central Italy. And this large, slice-able bar was packed with 71% "Tonda Gentile Romana"* hazelnuts, known for their rich, nutty and slightly sweet flavor. 

So, while the high nut content made it more difficult to pick out cacao flavor nuances, one could really enjoy both crunchy nut pieces and smooth chocolate-hazelnut base--in part because (like other Cacao Crudo bars) this one was sweetened with the perfect amount of coconut flower sap--adding a satisfying, but not overwhelming sugar buzz.

Each piece of this very creamy, soft, satisfying slab of chocolate with crunchy embedded hazelnut pieces was extra-rich and delicious, but also a bit lighter in texture than expected. (Tip: If enjoyed during the warmer months, I would chill this bar slightly before serving, to make it slightly firmer for slicing.)

*"Tonda Gentile Romano" is a hazelnut cultivar grown in the Viterbo Province of Central Italy. Here, near the mountains and blessed with rich, volcanic soil, some delicious nuts in grow in a goldilocks zone (not too cold, not too hot) for hazelnuts. 

**Today's Cacao Crudo Nougat aux Noissettes (organic, unroasted, vegan, gluten free) bar reminded me of the much sought after Francois Pralus (France) Barre Infernale (nut nougat/praline) chocolate bars, introduced in the U.S. around 2005. Both of these large nougat bars can be carved into individual servings, and are great for sharing with friends and family or bringing to a party.

Ingredients: "(not roasted) "Tonda Gentile Romana" organic hazelnut paste (43%), (not roasted "Tonda Gentile Romana" organic chopped hazelnuts (28%), not roasted, organic cacao Criollo beans paste, organic concentrated coconut flower sap, organic cacao Criollo butter from not roasted beans."

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