Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Cookie Department - Mint Condition Double Chocolate Chip + Mint - Sept. 19, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

The Cookie Department
Mint Condition Double Chocolate Chip + Mint
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total package/cookie
Calories: 210 calories in 1 package/cookie
Cost: $3.49 for 1 package/cookie
Purchased from: missing information 

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate Surprise Theme Week.

The surprise in this case was finding this in my chocolate vault.

Today's soft chocolate chocolate chip cookie was from The Cookie Department (Portland, OR) and had an aroma with chocolate cake, light sweet (sugar alcohol) and menthol notes. 

An almond flour base created a slightly stiffer version of what looked and tasted like chocolate cake. Cocoa powder and chocolate chips as well as a hint of grass-fed butter and egg contributed a nice rich chocolate flavor and binding/cohesive texture.

The faint menthol or mint note (achieved via "natural flavoring") in combination with the sweeteners had a strange alcohol sweetness and coolness to it; but it was not too overwhelming. 

Rather than sugar, this keto-friendly and gluten free cookie was sweetened with monk fruit sweetener (erythritol and monk fruit extract) and stevia. (My only quibble: I'm open to, and grateful for, processed sugar (and gluten free) alternatives; however, I might have dialed the alternative sweeteners back a bit. The cookie was almost too "sweet." 

Total Carbohydrates: 21 grams (dietary fiber 6 grams, total sugars 1 gram and sugar alcohol 11 grams), with 4 net carbs. The cookie contained 5 grams of protein and 18 grams of total fats. 

Ingredients: "Almond Flour, Monk Fruit Sweetener (Erythritol, Monk Fruit Extract), Grass-Fed Salted Butter, Whole Eggs, Prebiotic Fiber (Tapioca Syrup), Dark Chocolate Chips (Unsweetened Chocolate, Erythritol, Cocoa Butter, Stevia Extract, Sunflower Lecithin), Cocoa Powder (Processed with Alkali), Contains Less Than 2% of Rosemary Extract, Baking Soda, Xanthan Gum, Natural Flavoring, Salt."

Fossa Chocolate - 70% Dark Shrimp and Bonito (bar) - Sept. 18, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Fossa Chocolate
70% Dark Shrimp and Bonito (bar)
Weight: .44 oz. (12.5 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 66 calories (estimate) in 1/4 bar 
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate Surprise Theme Week.

Today's 70% Dark Shrimp and Bonito and (bar) was from Fossa Chocolate (Singapore).

Billed as offering an "umami of the sea" experience, this bar delivered. When you opened this bar, you could see authentic marine life--tiny little dried shrimps nestled amongst the sesame seeds. 

But, the sight of these tiny crustaceans were not the surprise. (I have enjoyed chocolates with smoked salmon as well as dried anchovies and many other umami (savory) flavor inclusions before.) Nor was it the slightly fishy aroma that emanated from the bar--that became much fainter after taking a bite of the chocolate.

Surprise! This bar contained 6 of the 8 major food allergens,* including gluten (wheat flour), although it was not present in visible amount(s). I've been dodging wheat/gluten all my adult life. I like it; it doesn't like me. So, I limited my tasting to a smaller piece of this 70% dark bar, and shared it with others.

The dark chocolate was bold enough that it covered up what might have been a "fishy" flavor. The dried shrimps and bonito fish flecks contributed a bit of chewy texture and a hint of saltiness and no scary fishiness. If blindfolded, it's unlikely I would have been able to identify the specific type of seafood (shrimp, bonito) flavor inclusions.

The bar was not too sweet or too salty (thank you). It was a skillful, balanced, implementation of these unusual flavors. Definitely worth trying if you can get over the fear factor. (Tiny dried shrimps are almost adorable when you become accustomed to them.)

*Ingredients: cacao, cane sugar, dried shrimp, seaweed, sesame, soy sauce, lactose, salt, egg, spices, yeast extract, wheat flour.

*Note: "Contains seafood, sesame, egg, dairy, gluten and soy."

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