Chocolate of the Day
70% Cacao Pomegranate Orange Unroasted Dark Chocolate (bar)
Weight: 1.35 oz. (38 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50.9 g.) in total bar
Calories: 209 calories (estimate) in 3/4 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Raaka.com, online order
Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and the Island of Hispaniola Weeks--with a focus this week on the Dominican Republic.*
Raaka makes their chocolate using fermented but unroasted cacao. Raaka does not used the term "raw" cacao as temperatures in the fermentation, mixing and fine grinding (e.g. melanging and conching) steps typically exceed 112 degrees (F) (44.4 degrees (C)).
The cacao used for this bar was from Zorzal Cacao (a fermentery, specialty cacao farm and bird sanctuary) in the mountains of the Duarte Province in the Dominican Republic.
Aroma and flavor notes for this bar included: dark chocolate (warm, rich cocoa) with faint tangy citrus and red fruit. These concentrated fruit flavors were subtle and well integrated into the dark chocolate and were more discernible in the flavor than the aroma.
During the tasting of this bar there were also balanced upticks of light earthiness and green notes, as well as very faint sparkles of authentic orange, dried fruit (date, plum), and pomegranate.
This bar had a fairly creamy, smooth texture, had smooth but interesting flavor complexity, and was not too sweet (thank you). It was sweetened with lower-glycemic** organic date sugar and Just Date's pomegranate molasses syrup, giving it a bit more flavor depth.
Maker's tasting notes: "Sweetened with date sugar and Just Date's pomegranate molasses, this bar blends tangy pomegranate with bright orange zest for a refined sugar-free treat."
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic date sugar, organic cacao butter, organic pomegranate powder, organic pomegranate syrup, organic orange.
Allergen-related information: "Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Nut Free"
*Hispaniola refers to the Caribbean island that encompasses both Haiti (to the West) and the Dominican Republic (to the East). Island nation neighbors include Cuba to the northwest of Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico to the southeast.
The Dominican Republic (DR) is larger than the U.S. state of Maryland, but smaller than West Virginia, and is home to more than 10 million people. It has varied terrain, including rain forests and mountains and areas well-suited to growing cacao.
Almost all DR cacao is shade-grown (under the canopies/leaves) of other trees, such as citrus, banana and avocado; and much of the cacao is Trinitario (variety).
**The date sugar was considered to be "lower glycemic," meaning this food item would be absorbed more slowly, and scores lower on the glycemic index (GI) scale. The result is that blood sugar does not spike as much or as quickly as, e.g., more processed/refined white sugar.