Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Chocolate Naive - Rough-Ground Rustic Dark Chocolate 75% (bar) - Jan. 25, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Chocolate Naive
Rough-Ground Rustic Dark Chocolate 75% (bar)
Good ++ 
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 169.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Sveiki (hello) and welcome to last day (Day #19) of European Chocolate Vacation. 

Today's Rough-Ground Rustic Dark Chocolate 75% (bar) was from Chocolate Naive (Vilnius, Lithuania). 

I imagined strolling along the Neris River near the Vilnius city center in Lithuania, making quick stops in Uzupis Republic and Old Town, and then paying respects to creative, award-winning, bean-to-bar chocolate maker Domantas Uzpalis at Chocolate Naive. 

Since founding the company in 2011, Uzpalis has been producing wonderful original origin and flavored bars (Soursop, Porcini, and BBQ Spices to name a few). If I'm in luck, I'll be able to try some ice cream there too. (Parsley ice cream perhaps?) Even his "plain" chocolate bars often have a unique twist.

Rough-Ground Rustic Dark Chocolate 75% 

The aroma notes for today's dark chocolate bar included: rich dark chocolate, balanced fruit (berry, faint citrus), licorice spice, and faint clean, sweet mineral. Even before taking a bite, I'm already appreciating the complexity of this chocolate.

The custom-shaped bar was a merger of a large and a small circle (molecules, bicycle wheels, cacao beans?) with the company's logo in the middle. The chocolate broke with a well-tempered snap, and included a flawless field of two evenly distributed textures: smooth dark chocolate and crunchy (tiny crystals of sugar perhaps).

The flavor notes included: relatively uniform with true chocolate (ultra-dark chocolate mousse) and fully incorporated, faint fruit blend (berry, tropical fruit, citrus) with medium acidity. Not too sweet (thank you). (Also, barely there: a nutty/malty note that showed up on the re-taste.)

Bumping up the cacao from 70% to 75% seemed like a great choice here. The "roughly" incorporated sugar crystals offered some textural fun, and and allowed the sugar to have enough voice to be interesting without dominating the chocolate.

The cacao origin and variety weren't specified on the package. It had a Trinitario cacao variety like flavor--less dark and dense than a Forastero variety, and with some balanced and bright "fruit" acidity (enhanced with the tiny sparkles of sugar).

Today's chocolate was a well-executed variation on a classic three-ingredient dark chocolate bar with layered aromas, textures flavors. If sophisticated can co-exist with rustic, this would be the place.

Maker's tasting notes: Fruity, nutty, toasty, honey-like; "Initial taste of fresh strawberries and cherries followed by honey and--after a few seconds--some subtle nutty notes."

Ingredients: Specialty cacao*, cane sugar*, pure cacao butter* (Cacao min. 75%) 
*Asterisk indicates: "wild or all-natural farming"

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of treenuts, peanuts, wheat or milk." 

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