Pascati Artisan Chocolate
(Pascati Foods India LLP)
Saffron Pistachio Dark 60% Cocoa Organic Chocolate (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 2.65 oz. (75 g.) total bar
Calories: 396 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocosphere.com, online order
Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and India Theme Week.
Today's Saffron Pistachio Dark 60% Cocoa Organic Chocolate (bar) was from Pascati Artisan Chocolate / Pascati Foods India LLP (Maharashtra, India). The company sources organic cacao from farmers in the state of Kerala in southern India and became one of the first bean-to-bar organic and fair trade chocolate makers in India less than five years ago.
More than 33 million people live in Kerala, a tropical, coastal state, including many farmers. Coconut, pepper, cashews and cassava are frequently seen crops. The number of cacao trees in India has been gradually increasing, but cocoa is still largely an imported commodity. Cacao grows from 0 to 20 degrees latitude (covering much of southern India). In India and many equatorial countries, cacao trees are a secondary or "intercrop" grown under the shade of coconut or palm oil trees.
Today's smooth, dark chocolate was not too sweet (thank you), with light floral (saffron flavor) and nut (pistachio) notes. Small bits of pistachio added occasional nutty texture as well. Like previous Pascati bars with flavor inclusions featured this past week, the 60% organic chocolate used (presumably the same in all these bars and made from the same cacao beans grown in southern India) tasted more like a 75% cacao chocolate. (I prefer a "surprise" in this direction, over a 75% bar that tastes like an ultra-sweet 60% bar, which is the case. most of the time.) If a 75% bar tastes like an 85% of the bar it's usually because of some strong or bitter note. And this definitely not the case today. So, again, thank you to the makers at Pascati.
Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic pistachios, natural saffron flavor.
Note: Saffron is very expensive. While I'd prefer the real thing over natural flavor substitutes, the only other saffron chocolate bars I've tasted, made with actual saffron, were made by a company that found it hard to stay financially viable. Tough choices for makers if you want to sell bars that are under $15 USD.