Tuesday, June 28, 2022

LetterPress Chocolate - Bachelor's Hall Jamaica 100% Dark Chocolate (bar) - June 28, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

LetterPress Chocolate 
Bachelor's Hall Jamaica 100% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 155 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $18.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and Jamaica Theme Week.

Today's Bachelor's Hall Jamaica 100% Dark Chocolate (bar) was made by small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate maker(s) at LetterPress Chocolate LLC (Los Angeles, CA).

Aroma notes for this 100% ultra-dark chocolate included relatively subtle roasted coffee (mocha); gentle, diffuse fruit (nectarine, starfruit, faint sweet red berry/currant jam); and faint, fleeting matcha green tea.

This well-tempered bar broke with a hard snap at room temperature (68 degrees F., or 20 degrees C.).

The chocolate had skillfully executed, smooth, creamy texture. As is often the case with 100% cacao bars (with no added sugar), tasting involved an initial few seconds of disconnect--a cold water plunge to the taste buds-to-brain neural pathways) after an aroma that held the promise of sweeter things (sugar).

However, rich, enjoyable flavors quickly got my brain/senses re-engaged. Flavor notes included: a well-rounded, creamy, mildly malty, chocolate stout; an espresso-level bitterness that is cushioned a bit by cocoa butter; fairly prominent chocolate cookie (Oreo* sandwich cookie). The finish had a subtle lingering quality and included faint flickers of green tea matcha latte, a faint, malty stout and oatiness, and a very, very faint naturally sweet, fruit sour-bitter in the throat a few minutes later.

This single-ingredient, ultra-dark chocolate's satisfying, luscious unsweetened darkness was bold, but well-balanced. Thank you to the makers for making this 100% version with no sugar, that allowed the underlying cacao notes to shine.

Maker's tasting notes: "Starfruit, mocha, spice"

Ingredients: Cacao beans, Organic unrefined cane sugar

Allergen-related information: "Processed in a facility that also processes nuts and dairy" 

*The original Oreo sandwich cookie with a creme filling was introduced in the U.S. by Nabisco (East Hanover, NJ) in 1912. (Nabisco (a contraction of National Biscuit Company),  later became a subsidiary of Mondelez International (Chicago, IL). Oreo, currently a registered trademark of Mondelez International, is now a brand that extends to a variety of cookie-related offerings.)

It should also be noted that the 1912 Oreo Biscuit (renamed Oreo Sandwich cookie later) closely resembled the Hydrox sandwich cookie introduced by the Sunshine (Biscuits) company in Illinois in 1908.) Like most geneology stories, corporate origins can get more complicated/interesting the further back one goes. And this includes the history of cookie bakers.

The origins of cookies date back centuries ago (perhaps to Persia) in the Western world. Their existence required availability of grains and sugars. But, it was only when cacao (in the form of ground cocoa powder) was introduced from the New World that cocoa-flavored cookies started to appear in Europe that would later provide inspiration for chocolate sandwich cookies back home in the Americas.

If one were being picky about chocolate confection origins, my bet is the somewhere in the forests of Central/South America (where cacao originated), centuries ago, someone was making chocolate confections that might have had ground cacao, honey and some kind of ground seed meal or starch. But, I have no proof of that--other than something like that was given to me by Mayan people in the forests of Southern Belize, who were still living on the same temple grounds that their Mayan ancestors lived on a very long time ago. 

Summary: Creating today's chocolate cookies or bars, took the collective collaboration between new world and old, global supply chains, mergers and consolidations as well as new startups, and modern, temperature controlled facilities to get to mass-produced chocolate cookies and chocolate bars--like the one I'm writing about today. Thank you to everyone, worldwide, who made this all possible.

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