Saturday, January 13, 2024

Manoa Chocolate - Hawaii Island Ninole 70% Dark Chocolate (bar) - Jan. 13, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Manoa Chocolate
Hawaii Island Ninole 70% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++ 
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.1 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Manoa website, online order

Aloha, and welcome to Day #13 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week.

Today's Hawaii Island Ninole 70% Dark Chocolate (bar) was made by Manoa Chocolate (Kailua, HI).

Aroma notes included: dark chocolate with intriguing, dark chocolate; sweet green (green figs and young walnuts in honey, oxalis, tree/cane syrup); very faint, light molasses/brown sugar; and pleasing, faint fruit-floral. 

This smooth-textured, almost creamy, dark chocolate was full of smooth, complex flavor, including: dark chocolate (satisfying chocolate-y dark ganache); sweet green (maple/tree sugar, honey, fresh botanical); and faint fruit (banana and young walnut bread with honey, fig and orange). It was relatively low in bitterness and acidity, especially considering the range of flavors here. (Sometimes fruit notes can be more acidic.)

I found this bar with so much natural sweetness a little addicting. The use of less processed, oganic cane sugar doesn't explain this complex sweetness. This chocolate also evoked fond memories of the sights and smells of tasting cacao and fruits close to where they were grown in Hawaii and in temperate rainforests in Latin America. 

And as I've mentioned many times before, I like chocolates that transport me back to cacao growing areas (plantations, forests and fermentation facilities). 

Well-made single origin chocolates are not overly processed and often preserve tasty traces of their unique and specific origins. Cacao variety (-ies) are considered in the processing, and are skillfully and carefully fermented, dried and roasted; and makers thoughtfully decide whether beans would benefit from a light roast or darker roast. (Coffee roasters do the same to come up with a different end product(s).)

Thank you to Manoa for making this intentional and delicious Hawaii single origin bar with balanced, complex flavors. 

Maker's description of Cacao

"The Hawiian cacao in this single origin chocolate bar comes from Ninole Cacao, located on the lush Hamakua Coast of Hawai'i Island. This seven acre orchard was established in 2019 and hosts about 2000 cacao trees. The first harvests began in the summer of 2022."

Ingredients: cacao, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter

Allergen-related information: Manufactured by Manoa Chocolate (Kailua, HI). Single Origin Vegan chocolate. "This facility also processes: milk, wheat, peanut, walnut, cashew, pecan, coconut, macadamia, hazelnut, pistachio, almond." "Single Origin Vegan Chocolate"


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