Saturday, January 15, 2022

Zaini - 80% Extra Dark Chocolate (bar) - Jan. 15, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

80% Extra Dark Chocolate (bar)
(80% Cioccolato Fondente Extra)
Good ++
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.65 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories in 1 serving (30 g.) of bar
Cost: $2.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Piazza's, Palo Alto, CA 

Buona giornata (good day) and Welcome to Day #9 of European Chocolate Vacation Theme Week(s) Today we sample chocolate from, and imagine a virtual visit to northern Italy.

First virtual stop: Milan, for lunch (saffron risotto), chocolate dessert at chocolate cafe CioccolatItaliani, and a walk. This financially prosperous, relatively conservative looking city is full of great art and a few notably flamboyantly gothic buildings. 

I imagined gawking up at the huge Milan Cathedral, aka "Il Duomo." One of the largest cathedrals in Europe, it can hold 40,000 people (most of my home town). 

Next stop, sampling Zaini chocolate. Founder Luigi Zaini established a factory in Milan more than a century ago (in 1913).

Zaini 80% Extra Dark Chocolate

Today's 80% Dark Chocolate (bar), from Luigi Zaini S.p.A. (Milano, Italia), had a soft, sophisticated aroma with a whisper of brandy + bourbon cocktail* in a sea of hearty, smooth and sweet dark chocolate. (There was no alcohol* listed in ingredients.) Other aroma notes (all well-balanced) included: faint green, vanilla (vanilla marshmallow and a barely there trace of vanilla tobacco smoke)) and very faint molasses. I enjoyed this rich bouquet of scents.

The well-tempered bar broke with a hard snap; and the texture was smooth, with an almost milky mouthfeel. The taste was deep, dark and smooth. This 80% chocolate was too dark and dense to compare it with ultra-dark brownie or chocolate mousse, but it radiated a "true" satisfyingly cohesive yet complex, chocolate experience. Suave, well managed forest and earth notes added complexity and depth. 

This chocolate was made in Italy, using "cocoa from West Africa." (I'm guessing Forastero cacao variety.) The result was well executed deep cocoa flavor. Not too bitter, relatively low in acid (for an 80%er), full flavored, and not too sweet (thank you!).

Ingredients: Chocolate liquor (liquor does not mean alcohol here*), sugar, lowfat cocoa powder, soy lecithin (emulsifier), natural vanilla flavor. 

Allergen-related information: "May contain: milk, almonds and hazelnuts."

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