Saturday, August 5, 2023

Fu Wan Chocolate - Beer Yeast #1 "Armstrong" Ale Style Rough Ground Chocolate (bar) - Aug. 5, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Fu Wan Chocolate
Beer Yeast #1 "Armstrong" Ale Style Rough Ground Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: .62 oz. (17.5 g.) / 1.24 oz. (35 g.) in total bar
Calories: 107 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $16.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate Surprise Week, including chocolates with unique ingredients, surprising back stories, and some that are just plain fun.

Today's Beer Yeast #1 "Armstrong" Ale Style Rough Ground Chocolate (bar) was made from "tree to bar"  by Fu Wan Chocolate in Donggang Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan (Republic of China).

Aroma notes for this 70% dark chocolate included sweet fermenting fruit (tart-sweet red berry, sweet citrus, cacao fruit/pulp) and chocolate.

The texture and mouthfeel was slightly rough with a rapid (light cocoa butter) melt and mild fruit astringency.

Flavor notes included: chocolate (mild cocoa, cocoa butter); subtle, almost fizzy sweet fruit soda/fruit beer note that tailed off--leaving lightly roasted, slightly woody and nutty cocoa nib, and buckwheat pancake/grain/malt notes in the finish.

This was a surprisingly aromatic and light, almost effervescent, 70% dark chocolate. It was fun and well-executed. The flavorful beer yeast bar was also relatively low in bitterness; and was not too sweet (thank you!).

It was also very interesting to taste the effects of yeast* (perhaps added during in the initial fermentation process, or as part of a second/double ferment). 

Note: Fu Wan Chocolate is crafting tree-to-bar chocolate "in country", allowing the chocolate maker(s) to be more directly involved with the fermentation process that quickly follows cacao harvesting. 

Most chocolate makers are remote from where cacao is grown, harvested, fermented* and dried. They can work/communicate closely with co-ops, fermenteries and those performing these first chocolate-making steps; but the options for tinkering/experimenting might be more limited.

Maker's tasting notes: "Tangerine, Fig, Beer, Almond

Ingredients: Ping Tung Cacao Liquor, Sugar, Cacao Butter, Beer Yeast

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of nuts and peanuts." (Contains yeast)

*Yeast(s) play a valuable and complex role during the days-long process of fermentation of freshly harvested "wet cacao." 

Yeasts (some natural, some lab-based) help convert the freshly harvested cacao beans and residual "wet" fruit pulp from sugar to ethanol (and CO2) in a process where flavor compounds are also developed. 

How cacao is fermented and what yeasts were involved will affect aroma and flavor notes present in the subsequent finished chocolate.

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