Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Raaka Chocolate - Tahini Swirl Unroasted Dark Chocolate 62% Cacao (bar) - Apr. 20, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Raaka Chocolate
Tahini Swirl Unroasted Dark Chocolate 62% Cacao (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1.8 oz. (50.9 g.) in total bar
Calories: 285 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Raaka, online order

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and RSTU Theme Week, featuring chocolates with origins and/or flavor inclusions that start with the letters R, S, T and/or U. Today was a seed celebration.

This Tahini Swirl Unroasted Dark Chocolate 62% Cacao (bar) was made by Raaka Chocolate (Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY). Raaka offers a variety of bars made with cacao that is unroasted that "captures the brighter, bolder, and fruitier side of cacao."

To create this Tahini* bar, Raaka partnered with Seed + Mill--a New York-based, women-owned, tahini and halva maker. Seed + Mill's "extra silky tahini (was) crafted with Ethiopian sesame seeds, into (Raaka's) signature unroasted dark chocolate." 

The cacao source was: Reserva Zorzal, Dominican Republic. It had bold cacao flavor with some fruit acidity. However, because it was unroasted, more subtle green, floral and other cacao flavors were also preserved.

This unique bar had a deep dark chocolate aroma with green floral, green seed (jaguar cacao) notes. The melt and texture were smooth and the dark chocolate and tahini flavors were skillfully integrated. And the back of the bar was visually stunning with the dark brown and golden seed butter colors swirled together.

The tahini seemed to mellow and complement fruit acids in the chocolate. (Imagine nut and fruit pairings like peanut butter and jelly.) Flavors were elevated and not dimmed. Together, these two ingredients were relatively vibrant and compatible, and lasted into the finish. Pleasant green floral and green "waxy" seed notes that were detected (noted above) in the initial aroma returned toward the end of the finish. And 30 seconds after I thought the finish had ended, there was a gentle flourish of sesame seed flavor.

The Seed + Mill tahini was, thankfully, made with just roasted, ground, hulled sesame seeds and nothing else. If there was salt in this tahini bar it must have been a very small amount. Too much salt in a chocolate with a "condiment" type flavor inclusion create salty-sweet sparklers, but subtler flavors are trampled in this kind of snack food formula revelry.

This was unadulterated, great chocolate partnered with authentic tahini--resulting in a executed bar with satisfyingly nuanced flavors.

Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, organic toasted coconut, organic tahini, organic sunflower lecithin

Allergen-related information: (Contains sesame); "Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free"

*Tahini is a popular condiment from north Africa and the middle east typically made with toasted, hulled sesame seeds. 

Not that different than cacao really. However, the cacao seeds (beans) are typically fermented first. Thank goodness for seeds. Chocolate Banquet, and much of life on this planet, wouldn't exist without them.

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