Chocolate of the Day
Qantu Cacao et Chocolat Inc.
Noyer Noir, Black Walnut (bar)
Weight: 1.41 oz. (40 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 227 calories in 4/5 bar
Cost: $21.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order
Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Umami Theme Week.
Black walnuts may be one of the most "umami"* of nuts. And most of us rarely taste true black walnuts. Instead, at least where I live in California, we are usually snacking on the milder English walnuts (aka Persian walnuts).
Today's Noyer Noir, Black Walnut dark chocolate (bar) was created from bean-to-bar by Qantu Cacao et Chocolat Inc. (Montreal, QC, Canada). This 70% bar was a triple tribute to three trees: cacao, black walnut and maple.
Some describe black walnuts as bold and earthy and even bitter or tannic. But, they're more complex, and more nuanced than that. (I did not detect much earth or bitterness in this black walnut chocolate; although it may have made the base chocolate seem less sweet, which was fine with me.)
Aroma and flavor notes for this bar included: black walnut, maple, faint and diffuse fruit, and very faint fleeting kalamata olive, forest and floral.
About 5 seconds into the first bite, there was a bloom of bright fruit-floral flavor. Not too sweet though (thank you). Plenty of complex but elegant (umami) flavor.
In addition to the fruit (subtle ripe dark berry), there was a trace of almost sweet, tree terpene (gentle pine) in the finish along with unique, not quite floral (orchid, very faint tuberose or lilac) notes.
It was a very well-executed bar. It seemed to possess just the right amounts of everything. Whatever the cacao source/variety, it was certainly a fine match for the black walnuts--that had a slightly bolder and more complex flavor profile. And the maple seemed like the perfect sweetener.
Not all chocolates evoke thoughts of beverage pairings. However, something in this chocolate made me wonder what a wine pairing would taste like. While I didn't have the opportunity to investigate (I'd also finished the chocolate by that time.) But it might be fun to hunt for matches with this chocolate in the future.
Maker's description: "Eye: caramelized black walnut pieces; Nose: floral like lilac; Mouth: like a good Chardonnay; Finish: fruity with a touch of pine tree"
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, black walnut, maple syrup, cocoa butter
Allergen-related information: Contains nuts (black walnuts). "May contain traces of milk."
*Umami foods (tomatoes, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, meats, etc.) generally contain fairly high levels of glutamate. In the nut and seed category, almond and walnuts are relatively high in glutamate content.