Thursday, September 30, 2021

Fresco Chocolate - Ghana 100% dark chocolate (bar) - Sept. 29, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Fresco Artisan Chocolate
Ghana 100% light roast, subtle conche dark chocolate (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .9 oz. (25 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 127.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $13.00 (+ summer shipping) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Ghana Week.

Today'a Ghana 100% (Recipe 235) Light Roast, Subtle Conche (bar) was made by Fresco Artisan Chocolate (Lynden, WA).

The company's single origin, bean-to-bar chocolate bars demonstrate precisely why and how choices made in chocolate making process matter. You can taste what different roasting and conching* choices/profiles taste like in finished form.

It's easy to assemble "flights" of Fresco bars (e.g. with the same cacao origin(s) but different roast and conche choices), and taste them side-by-side to compare the differences between light or dark roast, and subtle vs. long conching. (Today's bar is the first of three Fresco Ghana bars featured this week.)

The aroma notes for this 100% bar included (in order of appearance) dark chocolate with subtle tangy, sweet acidic green and fruit (dried persimmon), yeast bread and dark chocolate with a faint bitterness.

The melt and mouthfeel were buttery smooth.

Flavor notes for this single-ingredient bar were lovely, and included: beer (porter, stout), bread and butter, and rich, buttery (there's that word again), luscious fudge-y, dark chocolate with relatively mild acidity and relatively low bitterness** for an ultra-dark bar.

While I didn't have a comparable Fresco 100% Ghana bar with another roasting choice, I did really like this "light roast" choice with this particular cacao. A heavier roast might have resulted in the loss of some more delicate notes.

The taste of this wonderful 100% cacao bar was very satisfying; so make sure to savor it slowly.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans

Allergen-related information: "Free from: gluten, dairy, nuts, soy"

*Conching follows the initial grinding of cacao. Fresco describes conching as "heat, motion, aeration and time producing chocolate's final flavor." As with roasting (and most other steps in chocolate making), conching requires great attention to detail. And "adjusting these variables can produce dramatically different flavors."

**Bitterness is a result of several factors including the variety of cacao used (even the soil where the cacao was grown at times), fermentation, and roasting. Over-roasting cacao can lead to a bitter taste-- especially if more volatile fruity, nutty, green and floral notes that might have helped keep the flavor more balanced are "burned" off in the roasting process.

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