Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Manoa Chocolate - Haupia Coconut 60% Vegan Milk Chocolate (bar) - Feb. 2, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Manoa Chocolate|
Haupia Coconut 60% Vegan Milk Chocolate (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.05 oz. (30 g.) / 2.1 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.50 for 1 bar / $28.50 (with 15% discount) for set of 3 bars 
Purchased from: Manoa Chocolate, online order 

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

Today's Haupia* Coconut 60% Vegan Milk Chocolate bar was part of a "Flavors of Hawaii" collection from Manoa Chocolate (Kailua, HI). The two other bars in this Manoa 3-bar set--Liliko'i (passion fruit) and Mai'a (banana)--were previously featured.

This 60% chocolate bar had a lightly-roasted, lush green jungle aroma fused with green coconut, very faint sugar cane/molasses and floral (vanilla) notes and a very balanced, subtle bitter/dark chocolate element.

The mouthfeel was a treat: a melt with a cascading creaminess and an overall silken texture. 

The rich green + green coconut flavor mirrored the bar's aroma notes noted above. It was a very satisfying, flavorful 60% vegan milk chocolate bar. The maker allowed the underlying cacao (perfectly matched with the coconut) in this not-too-sweet bar to shine (thank you!). 

To refer to this skillfully executed bar as merely a flavored "sub-70" chocolate bar would be an injustice. This "felt"/tasted more like a 70%+ dark bar with VIP benefits than a coconut flavored dark milk offering. (It also gave me a bit of a theobromine and cane sugar lift.)

Thank you to Manoa Chocolate founder and chief chocolate maker, Dylan Butterbaugh, and team, for the virtual culinary trip to the Hawaiian islands in the middle of our winter here! The maker's pairings (below) sound right on target. I could almost taste these in my head, especially the first two.

Pairing suggestions from the maker: wine: chenin blanc, liquor: white caribbean-style rum, beer: IPA 

Ingredients: cacao, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter, organic dehydrated coconut milk.

*The title of this bar "Haupia," also known as Hawaiian coconut pudding, refers to a cold dessert made using coconut milk/cream, sugar, arrowroot (or, more recently, corn) starch and water, that is chilled and cut into square/rectangular pieces. Polynesian settlers brought coconuts to Hawaii; and cacao was brought over from Central/South America. 

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