Friday, October 27, 2023

Original Beans - Beni Wild 66%, Beni Amazon, Bolivia (bar) - Oct. 27, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Original Beans
Beni Wild 66%, Beni Amazon, Bolivia
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 198 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.50 (estimate) + shipping for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Bolivia Theme Week.

Today's Original Beans Beni Wild 66%, Beni Amazon, Bolivia (bar) was made in Switzerland. (Original Beans is based in Amsterdam, NL.)

This chocolate had a wonderful and complex aroma. Notes included: cacao with floral (honey), faint molasses/brown sugar; very faint fleeting freshly baked breads (yeast bread and steamed Boston brown bread with cornmeal, molasses and raisins); fruit (dried peach); very faint, fleeting jungle (loam/peat); and other trace sweet green botanicals.

The texture was smooth, uniform and creamy. (It likely would have been even creamier; but I was enjoying this chocolate after the expiration date.)

Flavor notes for this 66% Bolivia bar included: vibrant and complex, naturally sweet flavors. Many of these flavors were similar to the complex and varied aroma notes above. Honeyed floral notes and peach (fruit) were joined by a lovely fleeting ripe, sweet blackberry flavor note. 

It's been a long time since chocolate made me feel so transported (to a rain forest where I could imagine scents, movements and sounds among the stillness). The "fleeting" notes I mentioned seemed almost alive. One appeared and disappeared up in a forest canopy; another shimmered briefly between some lush plants between trees. I could almost hear muted bird calls and the rustling of wildlife. 

This special chocolate was made from the "rarest of the rare" Beniano wild cacao beans from the Beni* Amazon area of Bolivia. It was low in bitterness and acidity, well balanced, and wonderfully blessed with natural wild cacao flavors.

Thank you to Original Beans for making this tasting experience possible.

Original Beans Tasting Notes: "Hints of floral honey, apricot and jasmine tea..."

Ingredients: Cacao mass*, raw cane sugar*, cacao butter*. Cacao solids: 66% minimum. (*Certified Organic)

Allergen-related information: (No allergens listed on label.) "Certified Organic, Vegan, Dark"

*The Beni River is a major tributary of the Amazon River that originates in the Bolivian Andes. It is home to ancient forests, rare species of cacao and other plants, and indigenous peoples.

Chocolove - Maple Glazed Salted Pecans in Strong Dark Chocolate (bar) - Oct. 26, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Maple Glazed Salted Pecans in Strong Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good + - Good ++
Weight: 1.59 oz. (45 g.) / 3.2 oz. (90 g.) in total bar
Calories: 240 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $3.44 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Country Sun, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #14 of Chocolate, Pumpkin and Warm Fall Spices Theme Week.

Today's Maple Glazed Salted Pecans in Strong Dark Chocolate was from Chocolove (Boulder, CO). 

The company has been producing a variety of chocolate bars and confections. And true to their name/tradition, there was a "hidden" love poem/poem excerpt printed on the inside of bar wrapper. (Today's poem was from "The Wreath and the Chain" by Thomas Moore.)

Aroma notes for this bar included: smooth dark chocolate and sweet spice (cinnamon) and very faint maple syrup. 

Texture: This relatively thick dark chocolate had a smooth, creamy texture and contained a generous serving of crispy crunchy pecan pieces. 

Flavor notes included: sweet, smooth, fudge-y, dark chocolate (with a faint, fleeting earth and nut); pecans; sparkles of maple sugar (syrup), cinnamon and faint sea salt.

This bar was a lovely and skillful blend of sweetly spiced holiday nuts and dark chocolate. (And a reminder of some wonderful chocolate pecan pie possibilities.) The maple syrup added warmth and flavor depth; and the small amount of added sea salt seemed just right.

Ingredients: Dark Chocolate (Cocoa Liquor**, Sugar, Cocoa Butter**, Soy Lecithin and/or Sunflower Lecithin, Vanilla), Pecans, Maple Syrup, Cane Sugar, Organic Butter Oil, Sea Salt, Cinnamon. (** Rainforest Alliance Certified.)

Allergen-related information: "Contains Pecans, Milk, Soy." No Gluten or Eggs (ingredients); No Artificial Preservatives. "Made in a Facility that also processes eggs, peanuts, and other tree nuts."

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