Saturday, December 12, 2020

Svenska Kakaobolaget - Lakrits (Licorice) Dark milk 55% (bar) - Dec. 12, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Svenska Kakaobolaget 
The Swedish Cacao Company
Lakrits (Licorice) Dark milk 55% (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.7 oz. (50 g.) for 1 bar (per label)
Calories: 290 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar 
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA 

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Spices Theme Week.

Today's Lakrits (Licorice) Dark milk 55% (bar) was made from bean-to-bar by Svenska Kakaobolaget (The Swedish Cacao Company) in Osterlen, Sweden. 

Lakrits (lah' kreet(h)s), or licorice, is big in Sweden and other Nordic countries. How big?

There are spirits flavored with licorice root, anise and/or fennel, including Salmiakki Koskenkorve, a licorice flavored liqueur (from Finland). There is salmiak,* a salty licorice confection, as well as salty licorice flavored ice cream (Saltlakritsglass) and gum. 

Did I mention there is an impressively large, annual licorice festival that's been held in Stockholm, Sweden since 2009? (There are licorice and chocolate offerings on display there.) 

Today's Lakrits bar had a hearty, dark milk chocolate aroma accompanied by bold but balanced salty licorice notes (bittersweet, authentic licorice herbal/spice). The melt was satisfyingly, almost velvety smooth (largely due to the milk powder). The flavor of the melted chocolate (in one's mouth) had a dark, seductive, liqueur-like richness. If you like licorice and chocolate, give this bar a try. 

One cacao, different results
The Swedish-made Lakrits (Licorice) 55% dark milk chocolate was made using cacao beans (possibly a blend of Criollo, Trinitario and Nacional varieties) obtained from Oko Caribe in the Dominican Republic. 

Yesterday's Kardemumma (Cardamom) bar--from the same Swedish bean-to-bar maker--used cacao from the same source (Oko Caribe) in the Dominican Republic. The maker skillfully used this cacao to produce unique and successful results/effects with each bar. (And I suspect the same could be said for their other single origin cacao bars.)

Yesterday's 71% dark(er) bar containing more cocoa solids was, not surprisingly, more cacao forward. There was also no added milk to mute or soften cacao and inclusion flavors in this dark bar. And the cardamom in yesterday's bar did not seem to block or neutralize any of the cacao nuances. One could clearly taste the cacao's medium-bold fruit acidity (red berry, cranberry, citrus) addition to spice (cardamom), and (interestingly) faint savory (salty licorice spice) notes. 

Today's 55% dark milk bar was a powerful, unified blend, where its overall taste transcended that of individual flavor nuances. It was only at the tail end of this dark, sweet comet (finish) were there was a rare, tiny spark of an individual constituent element (earthy spice or acidity).

Ingredients: Cacao beans, cane sugar, powdered milk, cocoa butter, licorice.

*Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)--also spelled liquorice in other parts of the world--is an herb/spice made from the root of the licorice plant--a member of the Legume/pea family. (While the market for many licorice treats may lie to the north, licorice is grown in sunnier countries, such as India, Iran, Italy, Afghanistan, China.)

**Salmiak is a popular salty licorice in Sweden flavored with ammonium chloride (sal ammoniac), a salt said to add a slight tannic bitterness/astringency. Often available as black, diamond-shaped confection, this shape dates back to an era where Swedish drug stores made their own versions of licorice cough drops/confections for customers.

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