Chocolate of the Day
Wild Gorse Flower 50% Milk Chocolate (bar)
Weight: 2.5 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 401 calories in 1 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order
Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Botanicals Theme Week.
Today's Wild Gorse Flower 50% Milk Chocolate (bar) was from small batch, bean-to-bar chocolate maker, Chocolarder (Falmouth (Cornwall), England, U.K.).
Aroma notes for this bar included sweet milk chocolate and floral coconut.
You'll be forgiven if you swear this four-ingredient, milk chocolate bar contained coconut. It did not. Pretty yellow gorse flowers (Ulex europaeus) bloom in the spring on spiny bushes across the Cornish landscape (where today's chocolate company is based). While painful to pick, these wild flowers when infused into cream--or, in today's case steeped in cocoa butter-- yield a "...heady, warm coconut scent..."
Yes, this 50% cacao bar was smooth and sweet, but I also enjoyed the special opportunity to sample the warm floral coconut + milk chocolate flavors. I did wonder what a 60% version might taste like; but generally there are reasons chocolate makers have when selecting more or less sugar.
There was no cacao (country of) origin listed on the bar's packaging. (However, previous versions of this bar were made with cacao grown in Nicaragua.)
There was something wonderful, akin to virtual travel, that I felt as I read about the chocolate maker's treasured, albeit prickly, local (botanical) flavor inclusion. The description was engaging as well as informative.*
Maker's tasting notes: "Warming toasted coconut with hints of fudge and hazelnut ending in light red fruit."
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, unrefined raw sugar, milk powder (milk), gorse flowers.
Allergen-related information: "Made in a factory that also handles tree nuts."
*Gorse bushes can offer cover/habitat for "many insects and birds, such as Stonechats, Dartford Warblers, and Yellowhammers...During their bloom, clouds of warm coconut scent drift on the breeze...and are integral to our nostalgia for the long unmitigated summers of childhood..."
"Traditionally, Gorse has had many roles aside from its burst of coconut fragrance as we trek the coastal paths. The dry branches can be gathered for an effective fuel, used in bread ovens and stoves, and when bound together could form an efficient chimney brush. The flowers have also been used in wine-making and cordials, but more surprisingly the vibrant yellow has been used in making colours for Easter eggs."
"Larder fact: Picking gorse flowers really, really hurts."
While I may never have the privilege of seeing a Dartford Warbler (bird), I can picture the landscape and the town of botanical origin mentioned here as clearly as if I was taking a hike along a coastal path there.
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