Saturday, January 29, 2022

Moka Origins - Sea Salt Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao Ghana (bar) - Jan. 29, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Moka Origins
Sea Salt Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao Ghana (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.2 oz. (34 g.) / 2.4 oz. (68 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Sigona's Market, Palo Alto, CA

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

Today's Sea Salt Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao Ghana (bar) was made, from bean-to-bar, by Moka Origins (Honesdale, PA). The company specializes in single origin, small batch chocolates (and coffees).

The balanced bouquet of aroma notes of this chocolate included: dark chocolate (ultra-dark chocolate torte), fruit (berry, and later, faint ripe kiwi), a fleeting, pleasant botanical floral spice (green tea + vanilla, white pepper), and a very faint, fleeting salt and black pepper potato (chip) note.

Flavor notes included: flavorful dark chocolate (ultra-dark chocolate torte), fruit (red berry, currant), sea salt, and very faint, green, floral black pepper and earth.

The well-tempered bar broke with a snap, and it had a smooth melt and creamy texture with micro crystals of sea salt.

Similar to yesterday's Ghana-grown cacao 58% dark milk chocolate (Moka Origins sibling), today's Ghana 72% dark chocolate sea salt bar was crafted using a blend of Amelonado and Trinitario cacao beans, from ABOCFA--an Organic and Fair Trade certified cacao co-operative that maintains "complete traceability for its cacao and their farmers." (Sourcing partner: Uncommon Cacao.)*

Maker's description: "Dark chocolate finished with hand-harvested sea salt"

Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, Kosher flake sea salt. (Over 67% Fair Trade Certified Ingredients) USDA Organic certified; Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA

Allergen-related information: "Gluten free, vegan, soy free." "Made in a facility that handles dairy, gluten, coconut, and tree nuts."

*Historically, most of the cacao exported from West African countries like Ghana has not been fair trade certified (or organic certified) and has been "mostly untraceable." 

The ABOCFA cooperative in Suhum, Ghana, is one of only four certified Organic cacao providers in Ghana, and it supplies cacao from 13 local farming communities ("hamlets"). The co-op trains farmers on best practices to optimize quality (harvesting, fermentation, drying), to help ensure farmers receive a fair (higher) price for their cacao.

The organization can also provide more information to potential cacao buyers in other countries such as the U.S., which in turn can be supplied to customers. 

For example, we can read on the packaging that the cacao used to make this Moka Origins bar was from "Suhum, Ghana. Located in the Eastern Region of South Ghana, West Africa, with coordinates: 6.0413 degrees N., 0.4550 degrees W..." Cacao was grown at approximately "610 feet above sea level." And we also know that cocoa trees were likely "intercropped" (i.e. grown with) "palm trees, plantains, coconut and cassava plants."

It also should be noted that Moka Origins founders have spent time in Africa, and in fact have a farm in Cameroon (west-central Africa). They are dedicated to "ethically sourcing coffee and cacao" and supporting farmers and the environment.

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