Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Chocolates Simon Coll, S.A. - 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (bar) - Feb. 26, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolates Simon Coll, S.A.
70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2.99 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159 calories in 1 oz. (28.3 g.) of bar
Cost: $6.00 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #8 of Plain Dark Chocolate Theme Week.

Not all "plain" dark chocolate blend bars are the same. However, the bulk of cacao harvested is used to make "bulk" chocolate, which does have a sweet, and sometimes relatively bland, over-roasted, very uniform chocolate flavor (occasionally brightened with some vanilla).

For large, high-volume makers flavor consistency is key--a requirement in fact--which means it's more difficult to find flavor depth and interesting variations that occur in a single year (or origin). This same volume vs. value situation holds true for wine and many other foods and beverages as well. However, this doesn't mean that all dark chocolate blends made with consistency in mind are alike.

Today, we sampled a dark bar from Spain, with some history dating back to the 1700s.

The 70% Cacao Dark Chocolate bar from Chocolates Simon Coll, S.A. (Barcelona, Spain) proved to be one of the better plain dark chocolate bars. (European flavor profiles can sometimes vary from U.S.-made dark chocolate.)

The packaging was adorned with an illustration/poster painted by Alphonse Mucha* circa 1900 for Chocolate Amatller*, a chocolate company founded in Barcelona in 1797.

And inside the attractive wrapper, the dark chocolate had a slightly malty, slightly fruity, sweet, chocolatey dark bar with a pleasant flavor and finish with a hint of vanilla.

Ingredients: "Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, fat reduced cocoa powder, emulsifier (soya lecithin) and flavouring (vanilla)."

*Alphonse Mucha was a Czech painter, illustrator and graphic artist known for his Art Nouveau style paintings and stylized theatrical posters. The founders of Chocolate Amatller were patrons of the arts. The Chocolate Amatller brand was, more recently, incorporated into Chocolates Simon Coll, S.A., a company that continues to feature the brand's historical look.

Dagoba - New Moon 74% Cacao (bar) - Feb. 25, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Dagoba Organic Chocolate
New Moon 74% Cacao (bar)
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 2 oz. (56 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: missing information

Welcome to Day #7 of Plain Dark Chocolate Theme Week.

Today's New Moon 74% cacao bar was from Dagoba Organic Chocolate* (Ashland, OR). This organic and gluten free "rich dark chocolate" bar did in fact have a bit more flavor depth than your average "plain" dark chocolate bar, with relatively balanced fruit acidity and earth/bitter notes.

The dark chocolate was made using Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified cacao. (No country of origin was listed.) This bar also, if I'm reading the ingredients list** correctly, contained some milk.

*Dagoba Organic Chocolate, a division of The Hershey Company, was founded in 2001 by Frederick Schilling. The brand has been owned by The Hershey Company since 2006. Hershey has maintained the Dagoba factory facility in Ashland, OR.

**Ingredients: Organic dark chocolate (organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter), Non-GMO soy lecithin); organic milk.
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