Saturday, March 6, 2021

The Oakland Chocolate Co. - 80% Bachelors Hall Farm (Jamaica) bar - March 6, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

The Oakland Chocolate Company
80% Cacao Bachelors Hall Farm, St. Thomas, Jamaica bar
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (56.7 g.) in total bar
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.00 for 1 bar + shipping
Purchased from: The Oakland Chocolate Company, Oakland, CA

Welcome to Day #9 (last day) of Chocolate and Jamaica Theme Week; and Day #1 of Chocolate and JKLM Theme Week, in which I feature chocolate items with flavor additions and/or origins that begin with the letters of the alphabet. This week those letters are: J, K, L and/or M.

Today's 80% Cacao Bachelors Hall (Jamaica) bar was made by Nancy Nadel owner and chief chocolate maker at The Oakland Chocolate Company (Oakland, CA). 

Nadel makes single origin bars and confections, all from Jamaican grown cacao--from a single parish (Saint Thomas) and estate/farm (Bachelors Hall Estate).

The aroma of today's 80% cacao Jamaica bar had a true chocolate (fudge brownie) aroma, with very faint and balanced umami, fermented cacao, and pleasing earth notes. 

The flavor notes were very similar with a hint of cream, and red fruit (mild, ripe cherry), fleeting coffee and spice. (Note: there was no cream or dairy in this bar.) It had balanced, relatively low bitterness for an ultra-dark chocolate.

Almost all the Jamaica bars featured in the past week, from different chocolate makers, used cacao from the same farm (Bachelors Hall Estate). So any differences in aroma and/or flavor were more likely to be due to a maker's choices, such as different cacao bean inspection (micro-sorting), roast profiles or conch times, or even aging or packaging.

Today's bar was a great example of all the tasting notes possible with this Jamaican cacao origin. Luscious true chocolate brownie flavor--with a little earth, fruit, spice, fermented cacao, umami and cream, but not too much (or too little) of any one element.

Ingredients: cocoa mass, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, sea salt

*Jamaica is located at approximately 18 degrees North latitude -- well within the cacao growing belt (0 to 20 degrees north and/or south of the Equator). 

Most chocolate makers today are using Jamaican-grown cacao beans from the country's largest cacao farm in St. Thomas Parish, in Surrey County, in Eastern Jamaica -- Bachelor's Hall Estate, east of Kingston. Although where you find coffee farms in Jamaica, you may also see a few cacao trees as well. The two crops have similar growing requirements. 

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