Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Naive - Black Sauna Smoked Chocolate (bar) - Nov. 1, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Chocolate Naive
Black Sauna Smoked Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: .66 oz. (19 g.) / 2 oz. (57 g.) in total bar
Calories: 113.6 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $15.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Umami Theme Week.

Today's Black Sauna Smoked Chocolate (bar) was created by Domantas Uzpalis at Chocolate Naive and produced by Mulate UAB (Vilnius, Lithuania).

Umami foods have been described as smokey, meaty and/or earthy. They tend to be savory, and may (or may not) contain salt. Today's unique 70% dark chocolate bar explores smoked cacao blended with a few specific botanicals (fir, charcoal, wormwood), associated with black sauna traditions in northern and northeastern Europe.

I braced myself for some smoke-monster aroma; but this was not the case. Aroma notes for this bar included: subtle pine, light sweet mint/menthol, and subtle, buttery and smooth dark chocolate.

The texture was smooth with nice melt and very slight granularity.

Flavor notes included: slight aromatic smoke note, mild diffuse fruit (red berry), and sweet green herbs and botanicals (including faint sweet pine). This bar did contain a small amount of sea salt, but I couldn't detect it. The very subtle smoke note was much closer to sweet herb than American savory BBQ or smoked salmon smoke. (Tomorrow I will feature Chocolate Naive's BBQ Spice dark chocolate bar.)

I paired this chocolate was a cup of hot dried sage tea (a pairing suggestion by the maker) + green tea. (Green tea is also considered umami.)

Maker's description: "Flavor notes: initial punch of strong and smoky flavor followed by sweet and aromatic pine notes. Biting bitterness of the wormwood at the finish." "Pairing suggestions: "We recommend to pair this bar with herbal tisanes (also known as herbal tea infusions). Try pairing with fermented fireweed tea or something more traditional, like sage, mint or chamomile tea."

Ingredients: Wild smoked cacao, wild cane sugar, wild pure cacao butter, wild Siberian fir (2%), wild activated birch charcoal, wild wormwood (1%), wild sea salt.

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of milk, wheat, treenuts or peanuts."

Zotter - Peanut Crunch (bar) - Oct. 31, 2022

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Peanut Crunch (bar) 
Good ++
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 200 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate. And, welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Umami Theme Week.

Today's Zotter Peanut Crunch (bar)--made in Austria and distributed by Zotter Chocolates US LLC (Fort Myers, FL)--was a big step up from chocolate and peanut Halloween candy bars that I grew up with. 

This filled bar had an authentic peanut aroma--the nutty, slightly bittersweet smell of roasted whole peanuts in their shells.

A velvety layer of 70% dark chocolate covering surrounded a milky, nougat-like peanut filling with softly crunchy peanut pieces. This bar was sweet, but not candy bar sweet. A subtle dose of sea salt and dark chocolate helped to balance the sugar.

Moon over umami 
Yes, peanuts (like many nuts and legumes that contain glutamate*) are considered to be an umami food. But, why stop there? I enjoyed today's Austrian peanut and dark chocolate bar--along with three scary, umami mushroom jerky goblins dipped in a tiny black cauldron of dark, nutty chocolate. 

Clouds skated across the moon on this cool, spooky Halloween night. You want your mommy? No, I said "Oh, yum it's umami!"

Zotter's description: "Dark chocolate filled with peanut praline and whole peanuts."

Ingredients: Organic peanuts; organic, fair trade cane sugar; organic, fair trade cocoa mass; organic, fair trade cocoa butter; organic peanut oil; dry sweet whey; organic, fair trade dark brown cane sugar; dry whole milk; dry skim milk; organic soy lecithin; salt; organic vanilla powder; organic, fair trade cinnamon; organic chilli (sic) "bird's eye." 

Allergen-related information: Contains peanuts, milk, soy. "Manufactured on equipment that processes tree nuts, eggs and sesame."

*Glutamate (glutamic acid) is an amino acid found in many foods (e.g., meats, cheeses, seafood, vegetables and nuts). Umami foods generally have higher glutamate levels, and the glutatmate may be interacting with nucleotides such as inosinate and guanylate and forming combinations with sodium and/or potassium.

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