Sunday, August 15, 2021

Trader Joe's - Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Whole Cocoa Beans - Aug. 15, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Trader Joe's
Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Whole Cocoa Beans 
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 2.12 oz. (60 g.) / 3.52 oz. (100 g.) in total package
Calories: 360 calories in 2 servings (approx. 2/3 package) 
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: Trader Joe's, San Carlos, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of 100% Cacao and Nibs Theme Week. Today's featured item used whole cocoa beans instead of nibs (the more commonly found pieces of cocoa beans). Whole beans are the most unprocessed form of 100% cacao one can enjoy.

Today's Organic Dark Chocolate Covered Whole Cocoa Beans were made in Italy for Trader Joe's (Monrovia, CA).

The aroma signaled interesting complexity to come, with faintly smokey, nutty, dark chocolate, fruity, with a very faint hint of maple/brown sugar and sweet green (sugar cane stalks).

The texture was a blend of contrasts. Crunchy, fresh and fibrous roasted (whole) cocoa beans were surrounded by a relatively thin layer of smooth, dark chocolate.

It was hard to confirm exactly which flavors were coming from the cocoa beans vs. the chocolate. However, the two together provided a range of nuanced, authentic flavors. Those who look at cacao as a food (and not just a sugary dessert item) will likely find these pieces very satisfying. 

The chocolate coating provided a bit of sweetness, but most of the taste (and texture) seemed to be coming from the cocoa beans (technically seeds); and flavor notes included slightly savory (salt), subtle toasted maize/corn and/or toasted cereal grain, roasted nut (chestnut, almond) and wood notes, as well as fleeting loamy soil, fermented milk and fruit (very faint/barely there dried, mild pineapple, plum and citrus), followed by fleeting but distinct honey and very faint roasted coffee/chicory. 

The overall taste was refreshingly and authentically complex and un-sweet (thank you!). Extra points for being certified Organic.

Ingredients: "Organic dark chocolate (organic cocoa mass, organic cocoa nibs, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic soy lecithin (emulsifier), organic cocoa beans."

Allergen-related information: "Contains soy. May contain milk, almond, hazelnut, pistachio."

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