Saturday, December 3, 2022

Monsoon Chocolate - Ucayali Peru 60% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar) - Dec. 2, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Monsoon Chocolate 
Ucayali Peru 60% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 138 calories (estimate - not listed on packaging) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Ucayali Peru 60% Dark Milk Chocolate (bar) was made by Monsoon Chocolate (Tucson, AZ).

The Ucayali River cacao used to make this bean-to-bar chocolate came from "a central fermentary that works with nearly 400 cocoa farmers along the Ucayali River outside the Peruvian city of Pucallpa."*

Aroma notes for this single origin, dark milk chocolate bar included: chocolate (slightly fruity cocoa) very faint, fleeting green; cream; and buttered (Southern U.S.) biscuit/well-buttered rice.

This relatively thick bar had a thick, rich and buttery mouthfeel.

Flavor notes blended very harmoniously in this well-executed bar, including the buttery, creamy flavors described in the aroma and texture (above). 

The organic cocoa butter and organic milk powder smoothed over the cacao notes (it's hard to know what we might or might not be missing and diminished the relative sweetness (thank you). 

That said, diffuse fruit (ripe sweet berries); very faint fermented cacao; rich whole milk warm cocoa; quiet buttery caramel; faint, fleeting cheesecake; very faint, fleeting floral spice (light honey and buttered saffron rice) and very faint salt notes, managed to shine through in this creamy fantasy of a bar.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, organic cocoa butter, organic cane sugar, organic milk powder

Allergen-related information: Contains milk. "This product contains dairy. It is processed in a facility that also processes wheat, nuts, and soy."

*This chocolate was all sweetness and light. But Moonsoon Chocolate also describes some of the economic challenges and choices facing farmers in this Peruvian agricultural growing region that has a "long and complex history of narco-trafficking" and coca (cocaine). (Both coca and cacao are native to South America.)

Like many high-end craft chocolate makers, Monsoon works to obtain high-quality cacao grown in unique regions around the globe. Monsoon Chocolate pays Ucayali River farmers a premium for their wet cacao, "giving local farmers access to an alternate market to cocaine." 

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