Thursday, July 28, 2022

White Label - Salted Brown Butter Milk 58% (bar) - July 28, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

White Label 
Salted Brown Butter Milk 58% (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 178 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $ Missing information
Purchased from: Mutari Chocolate, Santa Cruz, CA 

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Uganda Theme Week.

Today's White Label Salted Brown Butter Milk 58% dark chocolate (bar) was made in Santa Cruz, CA.* The company is committed to transparent sharing of information and "beyond fair trade cacao." 

This micro-batch bar--and Good Food Awards Winner--was crafted using Forastero variety cacao, grown on small farms in the Semuliki Forest, close to Bundibugyo, in Western Uganda near the border with Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Aroma notes for this chocolate included: light caramel, milk chocolate, and very faint buttered and salted sauteed green vegetables (celery, green beans).

The texture was unique and almost sinfully addictive. The bar had a luxurious creamy melt and thick velvety (authentic butter) mouthfeel. It was so rich, it was like gnawing softly on a sweet stick of firm, room temperature butter that just happened to have chocolate in it too. 

Flavor notes included balanced, ultra-creamy milk chocolate with sparkles of salt. Brown sugar and browned butter resulted in rich flavor depth; although some of the cacao nuances may have been muffled a bit by the butter. There was also a brief, fleeting, very faint green  (light, almost floral, pleasing green tea) note in the finish.

This 58% cacao chocolate was, happily, not overly sweet (thank you!); and yet there was enough sugar, salt and fat(s) to trigger addiction-level cravings. Warning: You may find yourself eating more than you planned. (You'd think after 15 years of chocolate, I would be immune to this; but this is not the case.)

The maker's dedication to transparency could be seen in the detailed notes and cacao source facts provided (on the back of the package). The Forastero (Upper Amazon and Amelonado) Uganda cacao that was the basis for today's chocolate was grown by farmers on smallholder farms of 1-3 acres; and this cacao was harvested in 2019/2020, during the September to February growing season. The producer was Latitude Trade Co. 

Maker's tasting notes/description of this bar: "Caramel, cream, milk chocolate, salt." 

Ingredients: Cacao beans, brown sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic milk powders, browned butter, sea salt.

Allergen-related information: (None listed on packaging that I could find.) 

*Note: the White Label kitchen/small-batch factory and shop on Front Street in Santa Cruz, CA, closed earlier in 2022. Sadly, their old building (and other small businesses in the same block) looked like they were being torn down, as part of a very large mixed housing and commercial project.

As of spring 2022, White Label chocolate was being made in Watsonville, CA, and the chocolate makers are hoping to find/open a new retail location in Santa Cruz.

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