Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Jasper + Myrtle - Himalayan Rock Salt and Wakame Dark Chocolate 70% (bar) - Dec. 29, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Jasper + Myrtle 
Himalayan Rock Salt and Wakame Dark Chocolate 70% (bar)
Good ++ 
Weight: 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 163 calories (per label, looks too low) in 1 bar (679.7 kj in 70 g. bar)
Cost: $9.75 + shipping for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and South Pacific Islands Theme Week.

Today's Himalayan Rock Salt and Wakame Dark Chocolate 70% (bar) was from Jasper + Myrtle Premium Handmade Chocolate (based in Fyshwick, in Australian Capital Territory (ACT)--Australia's smallest territory and home to Australia's capital city Canberra and surrounding townships). 

ACT may be a small territory, but it's culturally rich and, if today's bar is any indication, it has some great chocolate.

Jasper and Myrtle was created by Li Peng Monroe. Li Peng and partner Peter make bean-to-bar chocolate using cacao beans from Peru, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Vietnam. It's no accident that several of the craft chocolate bars featured in this Chocolate and South Pacific Theme Week are being produced by Australian makers, who are geographically closer to these growing regions.

Today's well-rounded, flavorful and very slightly savory 70% Himalayan salt and wakame (seaweed) chocolate bar was crafted using stoneground cacao. Beans were sourced by the owners from Bouganville, Papua New Guinea.

This bar had faint, balanced fermented cacao and savory, nutty, earthy (woodsy) and clean green aroma and flavor notes. The texture was smooth yet robust with soft crunchy flecks. A judicious amount of Himalayan rock salt, and a smattering of wakame bits (that were faintly visible on the back side of the bar), added a delicious, delicate infusion of well-rounded, hearty savory flavor. 

I like savory chocolates, and this one was quite good. I'd also be curious to see what a 75% cacao version of this 70% bar (with a bit less sugar) might taste like. It may or may not taste better (I trust the maker's judgment here); but I'm often interested in seeing how much one can reduce sugar and still have something that works as sugar can obfuscate some flavors.

Ingredients: cocoa beans, cocoa butter, wakame, Himalayan rock salt, sugar.

Metiisto Chocolate - Patovaki 72% Dark (bar) - Dec. 28, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Metiisto Chocolate
Patovaki 72% Dark (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.325 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.65? oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 204 calories (estimate per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 + shipping for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and South Pacific Islands Theme Week.

Today's Patovaki 72% Dark (bar) was made with cacao grown, fermented and sun-dried by Kenny Patovaki on the small island of Paspaskato (Solomon Islands), and made into chocolate by Metiisto Artisan Chocolate (Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia).

Metiisto ("craftsman" in English) got its start in Sweden in 2011-2012, and the small operation relocated to Australia in 2018. (Chief chocolate maker, Trevor Smith, grew up in Alice Springs in Central Australia and his background included being a panel beater.*) The company is applying "old world" chocolate making techniques and "new world ideas" to craft chocolate. 

This chocolate had a relatively mild chocolate aroma with paper/malty cereal box (oxidized) and very faint fruit (citrus) and green notes. 

The bar broke with a well-tempered snap and had a smooth, almost creamy melt and mouthfeel.

The chocolate had a notable, but nicely harnessed tart fruit acidity (pink grapefruit) and relatively mellow true chocolate notes. The "oxidized" (paper/cereal box) note re-appeared very briefly in the finish.

The choice of a 72% cacao blend worked. There was still quite a bit of natural, tart-sweetness. Adding even 2 percent more sugar (i.e. choosing to make this a 70% version) might have resulted in a bar that was too sugary sweet.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter.

*A panel beater is someone who repairs cars. (Think about how you might go about fixing dents and dings in crumpled sheets of metal.)


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