Friday, January 24, 2020

Askinosie Chocolate - Davao, Philippines - Dark Chocolate and Ginger bar - Jan. 21, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Askinosie Chocolate
Davao, Philippines - Dark Chocolate and Orange bar
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 153 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $8.95 for 1 bar
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Ginger Theme Week.

Pairing yesterday's dark chocolate and salt bar with fresh ginger and honey tea yielded such a surprisingly successful result, I decided to try a Ginger juice blend with today's dark bar.

I sampled today's Dark Chocolate and Orange bar from Askinosie Chocolate (Springfield, MO) bar, first by itself, and then with a sip of Ginger 100% juice shot from Odwalla Inc. (Half Moon Bay, CA). This "small but mighty" bottle of concentrated flavor contained ginger, beet, carrot and cranberry juices, which explained why this pairing was not quite as magical as yesterday's. Too much going on.

The Askinosie bar by itself was quite good, with smooth dark chocolate and a light, authentic orange/sweet tangerine aroma and flavor. Organic orange (peels and fruit) provided the citrus note. And a faint hint of vanilla added a bit of mellow warmth. (Think high-end Creamsicle*.)

The Trinitario cacao (beans) used to make this bar were grown in Davao, in the Philippines. And like most Askinosie bars, today's package featured an image of (and information about) a real person working to produce the cacao beans from the actual source country for a given bar.

*A Creamsicle (R) is currently a Unilever-owned branded product. This frozen dessert is a blend of vanilla ice cream surrounded by frozen fruit juice) on a stick. The orange and vanilla flavor was very popular in California where I grew up. Creamsicles/Popsicles were first invented by a young man named Frank Epperson over a century ago when (legend has it) when he was only 11 years old. Epperson later patented the idea.

Obolo Chocolate - 70% Cacao con Sal de Cahuil (bar) - Jan. 20, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Obolo Chocolate
70 percent Cacao con Sal de Cahuil (bar)
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 142.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

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

Today's 70 percent Cacao with Cahuil Salt dark chocolate bar was from Obolo Chocolate (Santiago, Chile).

This organic three-ingredient* bar had a pleasing fudge brownie, slightly earthy dark chocolate aroma and initial flavor, followed by a few seconds of tart acidity (acetic acid/vinegar).** It also contained a touch of salt (from Cahuil, Chile).

I paired this bar with warm ginger tea (fresh sliced ginger, honey and hot water). And something very interesting happened. The ginger tea seemed to soften and neutralize the tart acidity mentioned above.

Paired flavors often complement each other nicely. Only occasionally do they rise above this level to create something better than what had existing before. And even more rarely, one item seems to "fix" a potential flaw in the other. Such was the case here.

*Ingredients: organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, Cahuil salt. (Cahuil is a village in Chile known for its salt production.)

**This tartness often can be traced back to choices made in the cacao fermentation phase of chocolate making. Sometimes it may even be a deliberate choice to create some tartness; although too much is generally undesirable.
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