Sunday, December 6, 2020

Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC - 73% North Shore (bar) - Dec. 6, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC
73% North Shore (bar)  
Good +++
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) (estimate) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Lonohana / The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA*

Welcome to Day #15 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Weeks.

Today's 73% North Shore bar was from Lonohana Estate Chocolate, LLC (Honolulu, HI).

As with other Lonohana bars, today's hand-crafted chocolate was grown and made in Hawaii. Only a handful of U.S. chocolate makers can make this claim; and almost all of them are in Hawaii--the only U.S. state with a climate and latitude (within 20 degrees of the Equator) suitable for growing Theobroma cacao trees outdoors.

Unlike other U.S.-based chocolate makers on the mainland, Lonohana's founder, expert chocolate maker and farmer, Seneca Klassen, also has been able to grow his own cacao where he makes it, in Hawaii, in a model more similar to wine-making, where the grape vines (vineyards) are adjacent to wine-making operations (wineries).

Today's well-executed bar was shaped in a mold that depicted the chain of Hawaiian islands. The chocolate had an inviting dark chocolate aroma with very light spice and fruit notes. 

The first bite of this chocolate yielded a very faint fermented note that was quickly followed by a full, sweet-tart fruit flavor (notes of cherry and tropical fruits). Once the fruit notes receded a bit, the flavor took on a sophisticated, almost "silken" true chocolate finish (high end chocolate silk, flourless tart perhaps). And the finish ended with a trace of well-balanced, bitter-sweet. 

That natural sweetness of the cacao made the choice to use 73% cacao (vs. 70% cacao) resulted in a bit more cacao flavor and less sugar. A great choice.

*Note: This was an early sample bar that was available through a relationship between Lonohana Estate Chocolate and The Chocolate Garage (sadly, now closed). This bar is likely not available to the general public. Lonohana offers chocolate bars through membership in a Chocolate Club, that is similar to a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) offering (fruit and vegetable subscription box) and has a store on their website.

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