Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Standout Chocolate - Nordic Nature Black Currant 63% (bar) - Jan. 16, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Standout Chocolate
Nordic Nature Black Currant 63% (bar)
Good ++
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 146 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $10.25 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate, Berries and Vanilla Theme Week.

Today's Nordic Nature Black Currant 63% cacao (bar) was made in a small town (Kallered) in Sweden. Standout Chocolate maker, Fredrik Martinsson, crafts chocolate from bean to bar, and offers single origin bars, as well as a tasty line of Nordic-influenced flavors, including today's bar.  

Aroma notes for this chocolate included: chocolate (dark cocoa), berry jam (ripe black currants, mixed berries), very slight fermentation (freshly baked bread) and very faintly warm, smoky spice (imagined vanilla).

This 63% cacao chocolate yielded skillfully layered flavors: dark chocolate (relatively bold but smooth, possibly faint fruit, and fleeting, balanced earth) integrated with ripe dark berry (bright, dark-sweet currant, ripe blackberry). 

The blending of chocolate and berry flavors was perfect. It was almost seamless, yet this chocolate still had the benefits of a layered chocolate (vibrant, distinguishable flavors).

Today's black currant bar had appealing complexity and excellent balance. It was full of authentic fruit flavor; and it was neither too tart nor too sweet. (Too much sugar can mask flavors, and is sometimes an issue with chocolates that are less than 70% cacao--and higher in sugar). 

Note for dark fans: This bar tasted closer to a 70% cacao than a 63% cacao chocolate). 

As already mentioned, this was a particularly nice capture of the black currant (Ribes nigrum) fruit. If it weren't for an occasional, beloved blackcurrant pastille (candy) from a metal tin in childhood, I would have entirely missed out on tasting this fruit in the U.S.*

Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic cane sugar, organic cacao butter, organic blackcurrant. 

Allergen-related information: May contain traces of milk.

*Due to a possible (disease) threat to certain pine trees (potential timber industry damage/losses), cultivation of blackcurrants was banned in 1911 in the U.S. And during this period of restrictions, most people in the U.S. missed out on tasting these fresh black berries.

Happily blackcurrants (aka black currants) are now grown commercially, in cooler, wetter areas most like Scandinavia in climate--i.e., the Pacific NE and NW. I look forward to trying this fruit one day.

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