Monday, December 21, 2020

Sibu/Sibo Chocolate - Talamanca Costa Rica Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao (bar) - Dec. 21, 2020

 Chocolate of the Day

Sibu Chocolate / Sibo Chocolate
Talamanca Costa Rica Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao (bar)
Good  ++ 
Weight: 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 280 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $6.50 (estimate) for 1 bar
Purchased from:, online order

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Costa Rica Theme Week. 

Today's Sibu Chocolate (known as Sibo Chocolate in the U.S.) Talamanca* Costa Rica Dark Chocolate 70% Cacao (bar) was made in Costa Rica by Chocoindustria Cinco S.A.

Sibu/Sibo offers a variety of bars (with and without flavor inclusions) that feature cacao(s) grown in different regions of Costa Rica.

The aroma of this smooth, dark and complex Costa Rica chocolate included subtle earth, savory, dried fruit (berries, fig, green banana) and faint floral spice (saffron) notes. 

The bar had a friendly, true dark chocolate (brownie) flavor with dried fruit (berries, green banana) and fig cookie and caramel notes. There was also a fleeting, very faint light mint/menthol note. This bar contained a treasure chest of aroma and flavor notes.

This 70% chocolate was made in Costa Rica, from cacao beans that were grown in the Limon Province in Costa Rica.* Sibo has worked with two small farms for their cacao in this area, and cacao for this bar was "fermented and dried by the Gaitan family..."

Chocosphere tasting notes read: "...Sibo Talamanca 70% Dark Chocolate Bar, Single origin dark chocolate...has a very complex flavor profile. Hints of local herbs and dried fruits with a caramel undertone."

Ingredients: Chocolate (cacao beans, organic, cane sugar, cacao butter) 

*There are seven provinces in Costa Rica. All seven have cacao farms or plantations: Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limon, Puntarenas and San Jose--proof that this country has a climate very well-suited for cacao. Talamanca, the source of the cacao used to make today's bar, is a "canton," in the Limon Province, located in the southeast part of (the Caribbean side of) Costa Rica. 


French Broad Chocolates - Costa Rica Dark Chocolate 80% Cacao (bar) - Dec. 20, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

French Broad Chocolates
Costa Rica Dark Chocolate 80% Cacao (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++ 
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $4.99 for 1 bar 
Purchased from: Village Market, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA  

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Costa Rica Theme Week.

Today's artful Costa Rica Dark Chocolate 80% Cacao (bar) (Batch #1065) was from French Broad Chocolates (Asheville, North Carolina). 

This bar's robin's egg blue and shiny gold packaging was beautiful. The French Broad River (that inspired the company's name) is depicted in sinuous gold. I'm intrigued by maps; and any product information that includes a map (and the latitude and longitude coordinates) that honors and conveys a sense of place, for me, is a plus. Like many craft foods and beverages, place(s) are very important for chocolate.

This robust bar had a complex aroma with earthy, savory, smoky/roasted, very light nutty tobacco notes, followed by concentrated fruit (dried apricot, dried plum and dried banana) notes. 

The flavor notes were similar to the aroma notes listed above; although the taste had a slightly more muted quality--likely due to cocoa butter. (Added cocoa butter can help manage/soften acidity and bitterness, and can help create a luscious texture.) This well-tempered, chocolate had a dense, velvety, almost nut butter-like texture.

Artful to the end...this 80% chocolate had a satisfying, relatively light, lingering finish with a faint balanced, bitterness and then (after another minute) a fainter sweeter fruit (berry) note. All this with just two ingredients: cacao and sugar.

French Broad Chocolate founders, Dan and Jael Rattigan, lived in Costa Rica for a time, made connections there, and below is information from them that talks about how this experience continues to contribute to their chocolate making today. (See below for an excerpt.)

French Broad Chocolate maker's notes:

"No chocolate connects us more deeply with our roots than this bar. Dan and Jael lived in the cacao-rich jungles of Costa Rica for two years, where they opened a small café, called Bread and Chocolate.
Daniel South was brought on as a dishwasher, eventually being trained as Head Baker. Now Daniel has returned to his agricultural roots as a cacao processor, cultivating cacao on his farm and buying the seeds from his neighbors. He ferments in wooden boxes made from trees felled on his land, and exports cacao directly to French Broad Chocolates. Building a viable cacao business hasn’t been easy for Daniel, but we are seeing his efforts bear fruit.
This two-ingredient chocolate contains a robust eighty percent cacao with an earthy aroma. The flavor profile begins with chocolate wafer cookie and transforms into tart raspberry."

Ingredients: cacao, organic sugar

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