Saturday, February 4, 2023

Hogarth - Manuka Honey & Cacao Nibs 66% Cacao - Feb. 2, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Hogarth Chocolate Makers 
Manuka Honey and Cacao Nibs 66% Cacao (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 194.1 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Honey Theme Week.

Today's Manuka Honey and Cacao Nibs 66% Cacao (bar) was created by Hogarth Chocolate Makers (Nelson, New Zealand). 

The company offers a variety of chocolate bars (single origin and with flavor inclusions) made with fairly traded and organic ingredients. 

Today's bar--made with Peruvian cacao--was a collaboration with "You're a Honey"-- a New Zealand supplier whose bees have created prized Manuka honey from manuka* tree flower nectar.

Aroma notes for this bar included: honey butter, dark chocolate, and faint green maple. The relatively thick bar had a hearty smooth texture punctuated by softly crunchy cacao nibs.

The flavor was remarkable for its undulating honey and flower pollen notes, and smooth, but flavorable, dark chocolate that had subtle red/berry fruit notes. Cacao nib pieces balanced the richly sweet honey tones and added extra unsweetened, pure cacao flavor depth (with mellow wood, nut/seed and earth notes). 

Normally, 66% dark chocolates taste too sweet for me; but I loved the layers of authentic floral honey flavor in this bar. 

Maker's tasting notes: "...a chocolate with full honey flavour and a little fruit, balancing out the sweetness with bitter, crunchy cacao nibs."

Ingredients: Cocoa solids 66% (Organic, fairtrade cocoa beans; organic, fairtrade cocoa butter); organic, fairtrade sugar; Manuka honey (5%).

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of milk and nuts." "Gluten free; Soy free"

*Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is a flowering plant/tree in the myrtle family, native to New Zealand and southeast Australia. It's also known as manuka myrtle and New Zealand tea tree. Manuka flowers in Nelson (NZ) are said to have a high pollen content and the flavor imparted (into what is often a thicker honey) was appealing and unique.

The most poetic description of manuka honey I found was a frequently quoted passage said to come from the Honey Traveler website: "aromatic with damp earth and heather notes and a cool menthol (or eucalyptus) taste and rich flavour of mineral, barley sugar and herbs."

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