Chocolate of the Day
O'Payo Milk Liquorice 50% (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g.) / 3.52 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 285 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $19.99* for 1 bar
Purchased from: Village Market, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA
Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Spices Theme Week.
Today's O'Payo Milk Liquorice 50% "Chunky Salty" (bar) was from Danish bean-to-bar manufacturer Friis-Holm Chokolade (Hvalso, Denmark). Chief chocolate maker and founder, Mikkel Friis-Holm, is a trained chef who, in the 1990s had a relationship with artisan chocolate pioneer, Scharffenberger, in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The aroma for this bar was true to its description: sweet milk chocolate, with a dark, salty black licorice candy note.
A creamy, sweet milk chocolate base was studded with a generous handful of small, chewy chunks of salty black licorice--allowing one to really taste the licorice--unlike most previous chocolate licorice bars I've featured where these two bold flavors (chocolate and licorice) were fully melded and the blend of the two created its own magic. Both approaches can work well: layered flavors and blends. It's fun to try both.
I was afraid this 50% cacao chocolate might be too sweet for my taste. However, the flavors were balanced; and a hint of salt in a dark milk chocolate helped balance out the sugar.
Ingredients: Cacao beans (Nicaragua), sugar, milk powder, cocoa butter, liquorice (8%).
*Yes, chocolate prices have continued to rise as chocolate makers compete for the best cacao from farmers in cacao-growing countries. And while $19.99 (USD) seems pricey for a single chocolate bar. This generously sized 100 g. (3.52 oz.) bar would be comparable to paying $10 (USD) for a 50 gram (1.76 oz.) craft chocolate bar, about what a high-end bar is going for these days.
One could argue that a high-end craft chocolate bar is still less expensive than a bottle of good wine; but making this comparison can spark a spirited conversation among wine-loving friends who see wine grapes as occupying a higher tier on the vice ladder than cacao fruit. So I'll simply say: skilled makers are required for both wine and chocolate.
Apologies to licorice makers for leaving you out of this discussion. Thank you to whoever contributed this component.