Friday, July 9, 2021

Dick Taylor - Blackberry Bergamot 65% Belize (bar) - July 7, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Dick Taylor
Blackberry Bergamot 65% Belize (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate, Fruit and Flowers Theme Week. 

Today's Blackberry Bergamot 65% Belize (bar) was handcrafted by Dick Taylor in Eureka, CA.

Not surprisingly, the aroma and flavor notes for this dark chocolate bar were fruit (dark berry, citrus) forward.

However, the concentrated, dark, earthy berry notes (from dried blackberries) melded seamlessly with the 65% Belize chocolate so that the "dark" fruit (blackberries and prunes with orange peel and molasses) notes--as well as the whisper of bergamot*--could easily be mistaken for naturally occurring aromas and flavors in a single origin cacao dark bar. 

Normally this is not the case. Items added as flavor inclusions stand out either visually (pressed onto the back of the bar, or visible in the middle) or on one's palette. So, this fruit and floral bar (which actually made the chocolate taste a bit darker/heartier vs. lighter/sweeter) was a bit of a magic trick.

The texture was fairly smooth, except for an occasional blackberry seed, and the finish was relatively clean, with a very faint blackberry fruit and citrus acidity.

Maker's tasting notes read as follows: "Sweet, dried blackberries and a hint of bergamot oil are mixed into our silky 65% dark chocolate from Belize. The blend of bergamot and berries creates a perfect balance of citrus and floral notes, complimenting the lightness of this chocolate."

Ingredients: Organic cacao, organic cane sugar, organic dried blackberries, organic cocoa butter, bergamot oil.

Allergen-related information: "Made in a facility that also processes milk, tree nuts, wheat and peanuts."

*Bergamot is in the citrus family and the rind is used to flavor Earl Grey and Lady Grey tea (and perfumes). It's zest is aromatic with citrus and floral notes.

Hemp Love - Lavender Sea Salt and Hemp Seed Crunch (bar) - July 8, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Hemp Love
61% Cacao Lavender Sea Salt and Hemp Seed Crunch (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 2 oz. (56 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 300 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $5.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's, Palo Alto, CA 

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Fruit and Flowers Theme Week.

Today's 61% Lavender Sea Salt and Hemp Seed Crunch Organic Vegan Chocolate (bar) was manufactured for Hemp Love (Malibu, CA). 

The company incorporates hemp seeds (a food relatively high in protein and rich in Omega 3 as well as Omega 6 essential fatty acids) in their line of chocolate bars.

The aroma notes for Lavender Sea Salt bar included: floral (authentic, aromatic lavender buds) sweet dark chocolate and very faint vanilla.

This smooth, sweet dark chocolate had a mild crunchiness (hemp seeds) and occasional tiny sparkles of sea salt.

Flavor notes included smooth, sweet dark chocolate (cake) with lavender, vanilla and judicious salt notes. The bar had a pleasing, light lavender finish.

Lavender pairs very nicely with vanilla (creating a warm, invigorating* floral blend). When these two are joined with chocolate and sea salt and the hemp seeds, and angels started to sing. Some flavor sums are greater than their individual parts. 

The lavender sea salt provided the piney-floral, perfumed (some say soap) lavender flavor, and helped balance the sweetness.

Where's the fruit one might ask, given this week's chocolate, fruit and floral theme?

Bonus pairing: Alec's Honey Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream
Sweet tart, dark and slightly earthy blueberries play well with lavender and vanilla flavors (and chocolate). I amped up the lavender today by pairing the featured Hemp Love chocolate bar with a scoop of Honey Blueberry Lavender organic ice cream from Alec's Ice Cream (made in Petaluma, CA). The end result: harmony and bliss in the chocolate + fruit + floral universe. 

Ingredients: 61% dark chocolate (organic evaporated cane juice, organic cocoa paste, organic cocoa butter, organic ground vanilla), organic hemp seed, organic evaporated cane juice, organic lavender salt (sea salt, organic lavender oil, organic lavender flower).

Allergen-related information: "Produced in a Kosher vegan facility. Equipment shared with peanuts/tree nuts and soy. Ingredient suppliers may share equipment that could result in trace amounts of dairy protein."

*Disclaimer: I'm a lavender and floral flavor fan. Lavender (a member of the mint family) and chocolate are examples of foods that can be both relaxing and stimulating at the same time. 

Said to reduce stress and anxiety, a small handful of tiny, purple lavender flower buds (and a tiny rosemary sprig) thrown into a pot of simmering water can de-stress an entire room and/or perk up drab days fairly quickly. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...