Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Primo Botanica - Mountain Cardamom, Dark Coconut Mylk 60% Nicaraguan Cardamom bar - Apr. 6, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Primo Botanica 
Mountain Cardamom - Dark Coconut Mylk 60% Nicaraguan Cardamom (bar)
Good ++ 
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 167 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.25 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Nicaragua Theme Week.

Today's (Batch #1) Mountain Cardamom - 60% Dark Coconut Mylk Chocolate Infused with Nicaraguan Cardamom (bar) was crafted by Primo Botanica (Troy, NY).

Located in New York State's Capital Region, Primo Botanica got its start in 2017. The company is dedicated to making "the world's most potent chocolate using single origin cacao, unrefined sugar, herbs, fungi and spices."*

This bright, slightly fruity, sweet coconut mylk cardamom chocolate was blessed with a heavenly, complex and full-bodied cardamom scent and flavor. (A seamless infusion, there were no gritty pieces...only a flowering abundance of authentic spice flavor.) The cardamom was harvested adjacent to a cacao-growing area in central Nicaragua. (More on the spice story below.)

While cardamom ruled this bar with a golden scepter, other elements contributed to the harmonious whole. The coconut mylk and cocoa butter helped to create a smooth, relatively creamy texture, melt and mouthfeel. Panela added sweet warmth (very faint caramel). In addition to the cardamom, there was a very faint note of roasted coffee, or perhaps this was inferred.**

The description of this chocolate on Bar and Cocoa's website read as follows:

"Creamy, coconut with the citrusy, minty, spicy - qualities of cardamom. During our last visit to mountainous, Matagalpa, Nicaragua with the cacao sourcing non-profit, Enliven International, we had the privilege to meet several cacao farming families. While the men go out and prune cacao trees, the women wild harvest spices and fruit to buffer sales. Several years later we were able to pay these women directly to harvest, dry and send this very special cardamom through one of the employees of Enliven to include this very special, limited bar. And yes, it's vegan!"

Ingredients: Mexican cocoa beans + cocoa butter (60%), organic Colombian panela (cane sugar), coconut milk powder (dehydrated organic coconut milk, tapioca, organic acacia fiber), ground direct trade Nicaragua cardamom.

Allergen-related information: "Never soy or dairy"

*Disclosure: I am a sucker for innovative, high-quality chocolates with botanicals, spices and edible flowers.

**The rich, roasted "coffee" note could have been from the (Mexican) cacao, the cardamom--or more likely both. Also likely, I could have been imagining this bar made into a coffee drink. Cardamom-infused coffee is not unusual in the Arab world (Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan and elsewhere)--in countries where the spice trade and coffee origins met and intertwined centuries ago.

Green cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is native to India, but is cultivated in southeast Asian and Central American countries as well.

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