Monday, January 25, 2021

Chamisa Chocolate - Strawberry Basil bar - Jan. 25, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Chamisa Chocolate
Strawberry Basil bar
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (30 g.) / 2 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chamisa Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and ABCD Theme Week.

Today's Strawberry Basil bar was created by Amanda Hatherly at Chamisa Chocolate (Santa Fe, NM).

Amanda's organic, rich, dark sweet chocolate (65% cacao) bar sparkled with bright, fresh summer flavors: tart-sweet strawberry and authentic fresh basil. (I also caught a barely detectable whiff of very faint roasted coffee in the initial aroma.) The finish was light and lingering with sweet chocolate, red berry and subtle herbal (basil) notes.

This chocolate was the perfect antidote for a blustery, cold day in January.

The scent of basil did create a bit of a brain surprise when I took the first bite of chocolate. My palette/brain was anticipating a savory Mediterranean dish with tomato sauce and cheese, or a savory basil fruit salad...since this herb is rarely used in sweet dishes. A pity really. 

Basil is a member of the mint family. And while it's possible to use sweet* basil to make basil chocolate chip ice cream, lemon and basil sorbet, or sweet basil tea--most of us are so used to peppermint (and more occasionally spearmint) being wedded to sweet items that basil blended with sugar and chocolate may take some getting used to. (Peppermint also has a stronger mint (menthol) punch per bunch, making it a potentially less expensive flavoring in large scale production.)

Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic sugar, organic cacao butter, organic strawberries, organic basil.

*There are many types of basil, including Thai, Lemon, Greek and Cinnamon--each with their own flavor nuances--but the most common variety found in U.S. grocery stores is "sweet" basil (Ocimum basilicum) or cultivars of this common basil, such as Genovese basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Genovese'). 

Chamisa Chocolate - Oat Milk Maca Breakfast Bar - Jan. 24, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Chamisa Chocolate
Oat Milk and Maca Breakfast Bar
Good ++
Weight: 2 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 310 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $N/A for 1 bar
Purchased from: N/A - sample from Chamisa Chocolate - thank you

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and ABCD Theme Week.

Today's Oat Milk and Maca Breakfast Bar was crafted by Amanda Hatherly at Chamisa Chocolate (Santa Fe, NM), a micro-batch chocolate maker.

I sometimes eat oatmeal for breakfast; but, today's Chamisa prototype Breakfast Bar was a delicious, elevated chocolate + oat a.m. entree. (For the broad-minded, this bar would also be perfectly enjoyable as a lunch/picnic/hike or dinner dessert.)

This Breakfast Bar had a rich, oaty aroma, from oat milk and a sprinkling (and incorporation) of whole oat pieces, and layers of flavor from whole raisins, pumpkin seeds and pieces of almond. It was sweet without being overly so (thank you!). 

Maca* root (powder) provided light sweetness, along with faint earthy and nutty notes.

Ingredients: cocoa beans, cocoa butter, oat milk, organic sugar, raisins, maca, pumpkin seeds, almonds. (Guess: Maybe a tiny dash of cinnamon?)

*Maca (Lepidium meyenii) root resembles a large, tuberous radish; and it has become a popular health food and flavor inclusion in recent years. Usually found in powdered form, this edible plant's origins are in the highlands of Peru/South America. It has been harvested there by native Peruvians for millennia, and used as a medicinal plant. (Maca has also been called "Peruvian ginseng.") 

Maca aroma and flavor observations range from butterscotch, caramel and malt to earthy and nutty.

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