Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Exquisito Chocolates - Tumaco Milk - 55% Colombia Caramelized Milk and Brown Butter (bar) - Mar. 23, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Exquisito Chocolates
Tumaco Milk - 55% Colombia Caramelized Milk and Brown Butter (bar)
Good + 
Weight: 1.1 oz. (31 g.) / 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 178 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.00 (estimate) for 1 bar (part of larger $39 order (3 items + shipping)
Purchased from: Good Food Awards Marketplace, online order

Welcome to Day #11 of Chocolate and Colombia Theme Week.

Today's Tumaco Milk - 55% Colombia Caramelized Milk and Brown Butter (bar) was handcrafted by the maker(s) at Exquisito Chocolates in Little Havana (Miami, FL). 

The company makes bean-to-bar chocolate(s) and offers a range of bars and confections. I appreciated the definition of a "chocolate maker" printed on the packaging of this bar: "Masochistic chocolatier who also self-produces chocolate from cocoa beans." 

True to its name, this sweet, dark milk bar had rich caramel tones in the aroma and flavor. Because this bar was crafted in Miami and the cacao was grown in Colombia, it's also worth pointing out there are myriad manifestations of caramel*(ized sugar and milk) celebrated in Central and South American desserts/cuisine (looking at you dulce de leche)...all with their own rich histories. 

As it usually the case with milk chocolate, underlying cacao flavors are somewhat muted/obscured.** The cacao notes that did filter through were appreciated and harmonized with the stars of the show: the brown butter and caramelized milk. The melt and texture were smooth and rich as expected.

Ingredients: Cacao beans, unrefined cane sugar, cocoa butter, milk, butter

Allergen-related information: Contained dairy (milk, butter). ("no preservatives or additives")

*The English word "caramel" has origins that stretch back to the 1700s Spanish and Portuguese "caramelo" (with earlier Arabic origins, and I'm guessing SE Asia origins (home of sugar cane) before that). Culinary caramel picked up steam in France, England and in other regions of Europe--and eventually the Americas were filled with children with memories of caramel (in liquid and more solid crunchy, chewy, gooey forms). 

Those who first discovered caramel by over-cooking some sugar (and later incorporated milk or butter), must have been delighted.

**Unfortunately, there were overriding "perfume" notes were likely accidentally introduced somewhere in the making, shipping or storage process. It's possible to get a range of (generally soft) floral notes in dark/single origin chocolates, but, this seemed to lean more toward faint perfume. Sadly, I live 3,000 miles away from Miami, FL, but I will try to re-taste this bar in the future.

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