Thursday, April 1, 2021

Alfred Ritter - Cacao Selection - Dark Chocolate 61% Cacao Fine with Cacao From Nicaragua (bar)

Chocolate of the Day

Alfred Ritter GmbH and Co.
Cacao Selection - Dark Chocolate 61% Cacao Fine with cacao from Nicaragua (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.75 oz. (50 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 296.8 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Mollie Stone's, Sausalito, CA 

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and NOPQ Theme Week, featuring chocolates with flavor inclusions and origin locations that start with the letters NOP and/or Q. And we're extending this "week" by ending with a series of chocolate bars that contain cacao from Nicaragua.

Today's "Cacao Selection - Dark Chocolate 61% Cacao Fine with Cacao from Nicaragua" (bar) was from Alfred Ritter GmbH and Co. (Waldenbuch, Germany). 

In 2019, the company launched a series of Ritter-Sport "Cacao Selection" (selected origin) bars made with just 3-4 ingredients.* (Yesterday, the Ritter Cacao Selection 74% Peru bar was featured.)

Today's bar followed the Ritter-Sports packaging tradition. A generously-sized (3.5 oz./100 g.), square bar was molded into a connected array of thick (smaller) squares. Each individual square bore the Ritter logo. To enjoy, just break off the number of squares desired to create your preferred serving size. 

This chocolate was made with Nicaraguan cacao beans,* and had a smooth dark, roasted cacao flavor. As expected this 61% cacao chocolate was brighter, sweeter and a bit smoother than yesterday's (darker, "intense") Ritter-Sport 74% Peru bar. 

Happily, neither chocolate was blandly uniform. (Many high-volume chocolates can be.) They each had plenty of true chocolate flavor, and both possessed some pleasingly complex cacao aroma and flavor nuances. Today's Nicaragua bar had an aroma with concentrated fruit (dried plums, apricots)--similar to yesterday's Peru bar. 

The flavors, however, had a shyer, sophisticated quality--with hints of cream and subtle fruit (peaches and strawberry) and pure cocoa (hot chocolate) notes. These notes are more often associated with fine cacao or heritage cacao beans. (Although the fruit notes were also brightened/elevated a bit by the greater amount of sugar in this bar.)

*Ingredients: Chocolate liquor (made from cocoa beans from Nicaragua), sugar, cocoa butter.

Allergen information: "May contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, milk, soy and egg."

*Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa sourcing. "We purchase a volume of UTZ and/or Rainforest Alliance Certified (tm) cocoa equivalent to the volume used in this product." 

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