Monday, October 9, 2023

Monsoon Chocolate - Ben Tre Vietnam 70% Dark Chocolate - Oct. 8, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Monsoon Chocolate
Ben Tre Vietnam 70% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 136 (estim.) calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 + shipping for 1 bar
Purchased from: Monsoon Chocolate, online order 

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

Today's Ben Tre Vietnam 70% Dark Chocolate (Batch #1) was from Monsoon Chocolate (Tucson, AZ).

This chocolate, hand-crafted in the Sonoran desert in the U.S. Southwest, was part of Monsoon's "Origin Series" and was a "...collaboration with the farm workers who grow the (cacao) harvest" in Vietnam. 

The cacao source: Ben Tre Province, in the Mekong River delta--roughly 10.11 degrees Latitude (North of the Equator)--within the geographic Goldilocks zone for cacao trees.*

Aroma notes included: Dark chocolate, light brown/maple sugar, and light, faint sweet green floral.

Texture: Smooth with a very light and balanced, tart-sweet fruit astringency toward the finish.

Flavor notes included: dark chocolate, very light brown sugar, and a tart-sweet, diffuse blend of ripe fruits (orange, plum, nectarine, pineapple).

The flavors were balanced, and the sweetness had a natural, fruity quality.

Ingredients: Cocoa Beans, Unrefined Cane Sugar*, Cocoa Butter* (*Certified Organic)

Allergen-related information: "Made in a facility that handles tree nuts, wheat, milk, eggs and peanuts. May not be suitable for people with allergies to these foods."

*Goldilocks zone refers to an area that is "just right" for certain things to occur. Many factors influence where plants grow (e.g. temperature, weather, soils, altitude, etc.). Cacao trees thrive in temperate rain forests (twenty degrees (latitude) above and twenty degrees below the Equator) around the globe. 

In the U.S., you'll find cacao trees in Hawaii (at the very northern edge of this zone); but, overwhelmingly the bulk of the world's cacao is grown in countries closer to the Equator (e.g. West Africa, Indonesia/SE Asia, and in South and Central America--where cacao trees evolved around 10 million years ago).


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