Sunday, November 26, 2023

Marana - Chocotejas Guindon (Dry Plum), Lucuma y Nuez (Lucuma & Walnut); Sugar Plums - Nov. 25, 2023

Chocolate(s) of the Day

Marana Craft Chocolate

1.) Chocotejas - Guindon (Dry Plum)
Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 17.82 oz. (504 g.) in total box of 18
Calories: 145 calories in 1 piece 
Cost: $52.00 for 1 box of 18 pieces (6 flavors)
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

2.) Chocotejas - Lucuma y Nuez (Lucuma and Walnut)
Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 17.82 oz. (504 g.) in total box of 18
Calories: 145 calories in 1 piece
Cost: $52.00 for 1 box of 18 pieces (6 flavors)
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order?

3.) Andy's Orchard 
Sugar Plums
Good ++
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42.45 g.) (estimate) /9 oz. (estimate) for box of 6
Calories: (No information listed)
Cost: $24.00 for 1 box 
Purchased from: Andy's Orchard, Morgan Hill, CA

4.) Brandy cherries with cinnamon, cocoa
(Small batch - homemade)

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Cherries Theme Week. Today's four items featured holiday fruit (including cherries) and nut blends with chocolate(s).

Today's bountiful chocolate plate was heaped with two special Peruvian chocotejas confections: (1.) Dry Plum and 2.) Lucuma and Walnut) from Marana Craft Chocolate (Lima, Peru); 3.) "Sugar Plums" (with cherries and walnuts) from Andy's Orchard (Morgan Hill, CA); and 4.) homemade brandied cherries with cinnamon and cocoa.

Marana - Guindon (Dry Plum)
Aroma notes for this large, individually-wrapped, Peruvian bon bon included: dark chocolate and a complex, savory-sweet plum sauce (sweet and lightly salted plum, tomato cream sauce).

This substantial, filled confection's flavor notes included: rich, naturally sweet dark chocolate; and a diffuse blend of very faint salt brown sugar caramel and dried fruit (very lightly salted plum, then a deep dive into moist, delicious prune) that blended with the pieces of melting dark chocolate outer coating.

The moist prunes (dry plums) rocketed me back to childhood memories of Bee Ritchie's chocolate-covered prunes--from the formerly agricultural fruit basket region in the San Francisco Bay Area (South Bay).*  Dark chocolate with dry/dried stone fruit: a robust flavor blend.

Marana - Lucuma y Nuez (Lucuma and Walnut)

Aroma notes for this generously sized confection included: dark chocolate, botanical and rich nut (sweet green walnut, maple-like syrup), and very faint tart green-lemony herb (oxalis, wood sorrel, sour grass).

A creamy, rich, dark chocolate shell surrounded a soft fudge like center with large pieces of soft walnut. Flavor notes included: dark chocolate; brown sugar; faint dried fruit (fig); diffuse, sweet botanical; light caramel; and subtle, authentic walnut.

Andy's Orchard - Sugar Plums

Andy Mariani knows fruit; and his fruit orchard is one of the last of its kind in Santa Clara County. Perhaps best known for their Blenheim Apricots, the company's small orchard-adjacent store also stocks seasonal favorites, like today's wooden box of gold foil-wrapped "Sugar Plums" dried fruit and nut holiday confections.

Moist, tart sweet apricot layered over a plum, was topped with a layer of chopped walnuts and almonds and candied cherry. Sorry cherry, the apricot stole the show.

These Sugar Plums did not contain chocolate but were paired with chocolate(s). 

Homemade Brandied Cherries

Not much to say other than these cherries, soaked in brandy with a pinch of cinnamon and cocoa powder, can be a nice, rich addition to a holiday table or dessert. The alcohol in the brandy evaporates over time and some residual flavor remains.

*In the 1900s, Silicon Valley was known as the Valley of Heart's Delight. Gone are 90%+ of all those apricot, cherry, plum, walnut and almond orchards--replaced by office/technology buildings and homes. Happily Andy's Orchard is one of the few places one can still find chocolate-covered, locally-grown fruits in the South Bay/Santa Clara County.


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