Saturday, March 13, 2021

Trader Joe's - Organic 92% Dark Chocolate Single Origin Organic bar from Madasgascar - Mar. 12, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Trader Joe's
Organic 92% Dark Chocolate Single Origin bar from Madagascar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.32 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.64 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 240 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $N/A - gift for 1 bar
Purchased from: N/A gift from family member (Thank you Dave!)

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and JKLM Theme Week, where chocolate items with flavor inclusions and origins beginning with the letters J, K, L and/or M are being featured. Today also marked the first day of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week.

Today's Organic 92% Single Origin Madagascar Dark Chocolate (bar) was from Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA). This 92% cacao chocolate was made, from bean-to-bar, in Madagascar. Heirloom cacao beans used to make this bar "in country" were grown in remote tropical forests, and "directly sourced from farmer-run, organic cooperatives."

The resulting chocolate was packed with very deep, dark, complex aroma and flavor, and was a great example of a balanced, naturally savory (umami) bar, with a minimum of sugar. 

The aroma had complex, very dark chocolate, and fleeting savory/umami notes (baked bread, brownie, Boston brown bread (with molasses and raisins), baked potato/roasted root vegetables) and very faint leather and clay/earth. 

In the heart of the tasting curve there was a relatively high degree of fruit acidity: bright, tart, bittersweet citrus fruit notes. Think orange juice, orange marmalade, and/or dark, aged and mellowed balsamic vinegar infused with tangerine, plum and berries, or charcoal roasted holiday citrus fruitcake. (Madagascar cacao is known for its citrus and red berry notes.)

This was a hearty meal of a bar. Toward the end, the robust dark flavor(s) converged into a relatively long finish, reminiscent of an ultra-dark, lightly salted, complex, fudge brownie with caramel. (Note: There was no salt, and very little sugar, in this chocolate.)

I liked this bar, especially when it had been unwrapped and left to breathe for just a few minutes). Left out too long, it may lose some of the more complex and delicate flavors. And you'll be left with roasted and acid notes that are quite bold, but without some of the finer flavors that make it more balanced and approachable for a 90%+ cacao chocolate.

I plan to add it to future tasting flights to allow people to experience its unique attributes. Thank you to the farmers and processors for growing this cacao and making skillful fermentation, roasting and conching/grinding choices that, together, resulted in such an interesting bar. And thank you to Trader Joe's for sourcing some great, high-quality chocolates over time.

Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic sunflower lecithin (emulsifier).

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