Chocolate of the Day
Tanzania 70% (bar)
Weight: 2.1 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 316.8 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar (dark blue dot)
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA
Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Tanzania Theme Week.
Today's Tanzania 70% (bar) was from OmNom Chocolate (Reykjavik, Iceland).
This bar had some very interesting, sophisticated and relatively subtle aroma and flavor notes. The aroma included well-behaved fresh baked dark chocolate cake, fresh bread and creamy butter, rich, hot chocolate and warm spice notes.
The melt and texture were pleasing and smooth, with a very light astringency - (slight perception of dryness/throat tickle).
The flavor had a very smooth, nicely balanced bittersweet dark chocolate flavor with the following notes: very subtle, fleeting warm spice/floral (saffron); smooth, sweet citrus fruit (lemon-lime candy) and bright fruit (sweet red berry, red apple, sweet stone fruit); and a hint of cream.
OmNom Chocolate tasting notes: "apricots, raisins, hazelnuts"
Ingredients: "Organic cocoa beans from Tanzania, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin (E322)."
Allergen-related information: "Made in Iceland, in a facility that handles gluten, nuts and milk."
*Some of the Tanzanian chocolates this week have had a "warm" quality. Why?
Temperature and certain additions (like sugar, salt, certain spices and berries ("Miracle berries"** in particular) can alter or enhance flavors.
I've tasted this week's chocolates about the same time in the morning, and at room temperature, between 65-75 degrees F. (18.3 - 23.8 degrees C.) as in previous weeks and months. So, the actual temperature of the chocolate is not a factor in this case.
Sometimes (other, local) fruits are added to fermenting cacao to add flavor(s).) However, I have no information about a possible double/second fermentation or co-fermentation that might have taken place with this cacao in Tanzania, so I'd rather not speculate. (Some chocolate makers (e.g. Valrhona Chocolate) have talked openly about developing this technique.)
Alas, I have no chemistry lab to test all aspects of cocoa and chocolate (and fermentation) components that might cause the sensation of "warmth."
Sometimes a "warmer" flavor experience is nuanced and hard to explain without extensive research and/or writing a long, boring thesis about a topic. So, uncharacteristically, I have chosen just to relax and enjoy tasting these Tanzania bars this week. In the last several years, some very fine bars have come from this country of origin.
Thank you to all who have made this possible, from the cacao farmers and fermenteries in Tanzania to OmNom chocolate makers in Iceland.
**Miracle berries (Synsepalum dulcificum) grow on an evergreen shrub, and have been used as a sweetener and medicinal plant in West Africa for centuries. The berries are also used in other parts of the world (Asia) as an alternative sweetener. (They can make bitter/sour foods, like limes and lemons or unsweetened chocolate, taste sweeter. As I recall, they can make make ultra-dark chocolate taste slightly (5-10%) sweeter; but my tasting experience, almost a decade ago, with this berry was very limited.)
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