Monday, February 20, 2023

Fu Wan Chocolate - Taiwan #3 Ping Tung Black Sugar Chocolate 70% Dark (bar) - Feb. ??, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Fu Wan Chocolate
Taiwan #3 Ping Tung Black Sugar Chocolate 70% Dark (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.59 oz. (45 g.) in total bar
Calories: 248 calories in 1 bar 
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Golden Sugars Theme Week.

Today's Taiwan #3 Ping Tung Black Sugar Chocolate 70% Dark (bar) was from Fu Wan Chocolate (Taiwan, R.O.C.).

The cacao (harvested in 2019) used to make this "tree to bar" chocolate was grown in (southern) Taiwan.

The rich aroma notes for this 70% dark chocolate included: flavorful deep dark sugars (molasses), thoroughly toasted marshmallow (well done, slightly beyond golden to charred territory), dark chocolate, subtle sweet, almost marshy green, dried fruit (dates), brown sugar, and faint, freshly baked yeast bread, and very faint, fleeting red wine. and savory Japanese rice cracker.

The texture of this well-tempered bar was pleasing. The melt and mouthfeel were close to being pillowy and velvety, while at the same time having a very low level of light granular astringency.

Flavor notes mirrored the rich variety of aroma notes mentioned above with dark brown sugar, date, and raisin notes. There was something almost sweet and savory about this chocolate (like small, golden brown, sweet and salty, Japanese rice crackers), and almost herbal (dark, sweet black licorice).

I loved the complexity of this chocolate and the dark, almost smoky-sweet "black sugar" flavor. This would make a great ganache, and would pair well with coffee--adding flavor depth as well as sweetness. 

In fact, one can already buy black sugar flavored (boba) teas, black sugar flavored coffee drinks, and frozen desserts with black sugar at Asian markets and other specialty markets/stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. However, these black sugar sweetened items are rarely paired with rich, single origin dark chocolate.

So why aren't we tasting more chocolates with more flavorful sugars? White cane sugar's relative blandness is why it is often selected by bean-to-bar chocolate makers--over golden (or black) sugars. More flavorful cooked sugars (or less processed sugars) can alter (or diminish) the inherent fruity, nutty, floral and other flavor present in fine, single origin cacao beans.

With today's Ping Tung Black Sugar chocolate, Fu Wan makers have shown us that some concerns about using darker sugars may have been overblown. That is, when skillfully crafted, chocolates can contain a complementary blend of flavorful sugars and flavorful cacao and can be fully enjoyed without the tastier sugars wiping out/distorting the fine cacao flavors and vice versa.

Maker's tasting notes: "Raisin, Licorice, Milk Tea, Brandy, Coffee"

Ingredients: Cacao bean, black sugar, cacao butter

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of nuts and peanuts."

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