Sunday, June 25, 2023

Thomas Keller - K + M Dark Chocolate Carenero Venezuela 68% Cacao (bar) - June 25 , 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Thomas Keller
K+M Dark Chocolate Carenero Venezuela 68% Cacao (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: .95 oz. (27.5 g.) / 1.9 oz. (55 g.) in total bar
Calories: 147 calories (estimate) for 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Sweet Shop, Los Altos, CA

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.

Today's K+M Dark Chocolate Carenero Venezuela 68% Cacao (bar) was from Keller Manni Chocolate (made in Napa, CA).

Aroma notes included: dark chocolate, roasted coffee/latte, wood, faint diffuse red fruit (cherry, berry), and very faint, fleeting sweet green (dried banana), sweet orange, and warm spice.

The texture was creamy smooth with a very slight fruit astringency in the finish.

And flavor notes included: chocolatey (drinking chocolate, cocoa), faint wood and diffuse fruit(s), similar to the aroma notes above.

Because I enjoy less sugar, I sometimes ask myself: Would a higher percentage (e.g. 72% vs. 68% cacao) version of this chocolate have tasted better? Often the answer is maybe, but other elements might become less balanced or too dominant. Maybe that very subtle astringency would have been too high; or, maybe the chocolatey/hot cocoa notes were actually more fun with a bit more sugar. I respect the complex decisions chocolate makers and chocolatiers make. 

This bar highlighted attractively complex aroma and flavor elements from Venezuelan cacao. The aroma and flavor had some mellow (wood) barrel-aged notes in it. Traces of an aromatic, aged whisky cocktail (Manhattan with a cherry and small orange peel--but without the alcohol and more complexity) mixed with sweet, smooth drinking chocolate with warm spice. Not a bad combination.

Maker's notes: "Crafted with sun-dried Carenero cacao from Venezuela's Barlovento region, this delightfully dark bean-to-bar chocolate has an intense cocoa flavor with notes of dried cherry, tobacco, cinnamon and spice."

Ingredients: Cacao, Organic cane sugar, Organic cocoa butter, Organic sunflower lecithin

Allergen-related information: (None found on label.)

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