Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Raven Rising - Paw Paw in Cacao Barry Ghana Milk Chocolate - Nov. 22, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Raven Rising 
Paw Paw in Cacao Barry Ghana Milk Chocolate
Good ++
Weight: .5 oz. (14 g.) / 6 oz. (168 g.) (estimate, per label) in total box of 12 pieces
Calories: 43.4 calories (estimate, per label) in 1 piece
Cost: $37.50 for 1 box of 12 chocolates (4 different flavors) (+ shipping)
Purchased from: Raven Rising, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Fruits Theme Weeks, beginning with a filled chocolate flavored with paw paw--a relatively rare. exotic-tasting fruit endemic to North America.*

Today's Paw Paw* filled chocolate was created using Ghana milk chocolate. This flavor was part of an intriguing, 4-flavor assortment box from Raven Rising (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada). 

The company offers "Global Indigenous Chocolates" that include local/native ingredients (flavor inclusions) and ingredients sourced from Indigenous people and businesses where possible. Pastry Chef, Owner and Chief Chocolatier, Tammy Maki, at Raven Rising produces a variety of well-executed and interesting bars and confections. She uses chocolate from Barry Callebaut Group** (Zurich, Switzerland) for her creations. Maki is a "proud Saulteaux Ojibwe Kwe from White Bear First Nation in Saskatchewan" (Canada).

The milk chocolate shell (colored an attractive paw paw peel green) had a rich, nuanced chocolate aroma with true chocolate (faint brownie) as well as faint fruit, nut and earth notes. 

The taste of the creamy ganache filling (combined with the chocolate outer shell) contained notes of mango + banana + sweet citrus + over-ripe, almost boozy, nutty earthy pear + custard apple. Although diluted a bit by the cream, sugar and milk chocolate, happily, traces of this unique paw paw fruit flavor shone through.

Ingredients: Ghana 40% milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, unsweetened Ghana chocolate, soy lecithin, vanilla bean seeds), paw paw (paw paw fruit, invert sugar)

Allergen-related information: Contains dairy (milk), soy (lecithin).

*The paw-paw fruit (approximately 4-5 inches long) resembles an elongated kidney-shaped green pear on the outside. (The skin darkens considerably to an avocado black-green as it ripens or if bruised.) The fruit inside is a yellow to yellow-orange flesh that evokes a blend of mango, banana, citrus and custard apple. The fleshy center contains several relatively large brown seeds (about the same size as cacao seeds (beans)).

While found primarily East of the Rocky Mountains in the U.S., this fruit is also cultivated on the West Coast (including small, specialty orchards in California).

Perhaps most notably, the paw paw is thought to be the largest fruit native to North America. (It's a bit larger/longer than the relatively small "American persimmon.") Both of these indigenous fruits (along with berries and smaller fruits) were cultivated and eaten by Indigenous Americans, primarily in the Eastern U.S. (and Canada) for centuries before Europeans and others subsequently brought in larger fruits from around the globe: Europe, South America, Asia, Africa and Mediterranean and middle eastern countries.

**Barry Callebaut was created in 1996 after a merger between Belgian chocolate maker Callebaut and French chocolate producer Cacao Barry. Following the acquisition of the cocoa business from Petra Foods in 2013, Barry Callebaut became one of the largest producers of chocolate and cocoa products and suppliers to confectioners, chocolatiers and chefs worldwide.

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