Friday, March 3, 2023

Sigona's Farmers Market - Pineapple Macadamia Milk Chocolate (bar) - Mar. 3, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Sigona's Farmers Market
Pineapple Macadamia Milk Chocolate (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42 g.) / 3 oz. (84 g.) in total bar
Calories: 225 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $6.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Sigona's Farmers Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Seeds Theme Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Fruits Theme Week.

Today's Pineapple Macadamia Milk Chocolate (bar) was a collaboration between Sigona's Farmers Market (Stanford Shopping Center, in Palo Alto, CA) and local chocolatier, Javier Confectionery (Burlingame, CA).

Aroma notes for this bar included: fresh, sweet, fruity chocolate with tropical fruit (sweet pineapple) notes.

My favorite aspect of this bar was the chewy, authentic (dried) pineapple pieces (from Sigona's) that were swimming in smooth, thick, creamy milk chocolate--that had light, sweet, caramel overtones. 

This pineapple (that Sigona's market sourced from a family farm in Costa Rica), even though it was dried, somehow still tasted very fresh. It was not overly sweet and it maintained its natural tropical, pineapple fruit flavor, texture and mouthfeel. 

Crunchy, roasted macadamia nuts* rounded out this trio and helped to balance the sweetness. A hint of vanilla added a trace of warm baked goods aroma.

Overall, this was a well executed collaboration, and a great use of ripe, flavorful dried fruit. 

Cacao seeds* (what most people call cacao beans) used to make chocolate offer very rich and versatile flavor (sometimes a little bitter and seedy). The inner core of cacao seeds also picks up flavor from a surrounding layer of cacao fruit pulp.** 

The cacao fruit pulp sugars fuel the fermentation and cacao flavor development process. This ivory-colored cacao fruit pulp dissolves and drains away during the fermentation process, leaving the cacao seeds (aka cacao "beans") behind. 

In today's case, the added pineapple evoked some of that native tropical fruit flavor I associate with making chocolate from the whole cacao fruit, close to the Equator. And the mac nuts and vanilla also reminded me of tropical vacations visiting cacao farms. These warm memories were appreciated, in the middle of a cold winter, looking outside at snow in the hills.

Ingredients: Milk chocolate (cane sugar, cocoa butter, full cream milk, cocoa beans, vanilla beans), dried pineapple, macadamia nuts.

Allergen-related information: (Contains dairy/milk.) "Made in a facility that also makes products containing milk, soy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat."

* Yes, cacao beans are really seeds. And macadamia nuts can be considered seeds as well.

** Cacao fruit pulp has a flavor that can be difficult to pin down. Generally it is sweet and a little tart. Depending on the cacao variety (there are many), the fruit tastes like citrus, melon, and/or even a little like mixed tropical fruits, including pineapple or mango.

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