Friday, November 27, 2020

Somerville Chocolate - Hawaii 70% Cacao from Papaikou, HI (bar) - Nov. 27, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Somerville Chocolate
Hawaii 70% Cacao from Papaikou, Hawaii (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 2.5 oz. (70.75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 378 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $13.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Missing information

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

Today's Hawaii 70% Cacao from Papaikou, Hawaii (bar) was hand-crafted from bean to bar by Eric Parkes at Somerville Chocolate (Somerville, MA). The company is co-located with a brewery and wraps their bars using papers printed with attractive images of antique maps.

The aroma for this bar had a shape-shifting quality to it. First, I experienced a bold dark chocolate with a roasted (very faint charcoal smoke) note. However, two minutes later, the aroma grew much milder, taking on a green (green forest, green nut) scent with a very faint waxy nut note. A magic trick of sorts.

The flavor of this bar was quite sweet (high-end, dark chocolate frosting). It's likely there were bright fruity notes from the cacao that amped up the cane sugar sweetness; but it was hard to tell. (Think of bright sunshine blasting you on a black sand beach on the Big Island* of Hawaii. Beautiful. But, sometimes too much of a good thing.) 

Some cacao has a naturally bright sweet flavor, and making a 70% cacao version (with 70% cacao and 30% cane sugar), which is generally considered an "optimal" percentage in chocolate-making circles, much sweeter than another 70% bar. Today's bar may be a good example of just that.

I'd be curious to taste a 73% or even 75% version of this bar (i.e. one with less sugar) to see if I could taste more of the chocolate's nuances/fruitiness. However, those with a sweet tooth should be quite happy with this well-made bar.

The finish had a very faint, balanced astringency, and it shifted from a lingering sweet, fruit acidity to something a bit of mellow, green nut flavor at the very end.

Ingredients: Cacao, cane sugar

*The cacao used to make this dark bar was from Papaikou, which is located on the east shore of the Big Island of Hawaii (south of the Tropical Botanical Garden and bioreserve) and about 5 miles (8 km) from Hilo. The area is described as a "tropical paradise on the Hamakua coast." And, happily for us, at a few hundred feet above sea level and at approx. 19 + degrees N. Latitude, it's also well-suited for growing cacao.

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