Friday, May 28, 2021

Zotter - Yuzu Citrus from Japan (milk chocolate bar) - May 27, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

"Yuzu Citrus from Japan" (milk chocolate bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 360 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Welcome to Day #9 of Chocolate and V, W, X, Y and Z Theme Week, featuring chocolate items with origins and flavor inclusions starting with the letters V, W, X,* Y and/or Z.

Today's "Yuzu Citrus from Japan" (bar) was made in Austria and distributed by Zotter Chocolates US LLC (Cape Coral, FL).

Imports of fresh Yuzu** fruit from Japan, China, Korea and/or other countries of origin, have not been allowed into the U.S., due to concerns about possible agricultural disease/pests. This restriction has relegated tasting this fruit to a rare, exotic experience for most. 

Happily, today's filled (fair trade) chocolate bar from Austria was a celebration of yuzu citrus fruit.

The uniform, bright, citrus-floral aroma and flavor of the sweetened, yuzu fruit layer was surrounded by a thin layer of 50% milk chocolate that had just enough flavor to provide a smooth, rich contrast to the fruit, but not so strong as to out-compete the lovely yuzu.

Very judicious amounts of vanilla and cinnamon were welcome background accents.

Ingredients: Organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic cocoa mass, organic yuzu juice, dry whole milk, organic glucose syrup, dry skim milk, dry sweet whey, organic dark brown cane sugar, organic vanilla bean powder, organic soy lecithin, salt, organic cinnamon.

Allergen-related information: "Contains milk, soy...Manufactured on equipment that processes tree nuts, peanuts, eggs and sesame."

*A tribute to the letter X. Sharp minds may have noticed the lack of chocolate items with origins or flavor inclusions that started with the letter "x." However, mentioning today's xanthic (yellowish) yuzu fruit, gives a xenomaniac like me an opportunity to tell you that the modern Chinese word for yuzu (a Japanese word thought by some to have been "borrowed" from ancient Chinese), is xiāngchéng.

**Yuzu (Citrus junos) is an aromatic (floral) citrus fruit grown in Southeast Asia, that likely originated in China many centuries ago. It is grown in Japan, China, Korea and, more recently, Australia and Europe. A yuzu fruit, about the size of a tangerine, and has been compared to lemon, a sweet-tart lime and even grapefruit (although nowhere near as strong/astringent as the latter in my experience). It has a pleasing, aromatic, tart-sweet flavor. You may have tasted it in marinades and sauces. (Ponzu sauce is often some combination of yuzu juice, soy/tamari sauce, sweet rice wine vinegar, and seaweed/fish flakes.)

One of my favorite descriptions of yuzu fruit appeared in the New Yorker (magazine) in a short Kitchen Notes article last year (Feb. 2020) by Helen Rosner titled "Nothing Compares to Yuzu."  In this piece, Rosner writes: 

"The knobbly-skinned Japanese fruits are among the most exquisite members of the citrus family: more floral than an orange and nearly as tart as a lime, with a scent that is dense and disarming, the Froot-Loops-y honey of a lemon blossom wrapped around an astringent armature of industrial floor cleaner (which is somehow exquisite), then magnified tenfold, then mailed to the moon."

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