Saturday, February 3, 2024

Meridian Cacao - Peru Cuzco, Cacao Beans - Feb. 1, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Meridian Cacao
Peru - Cusco Raw Cacao Beans 
Good ++
Weight: .5 oz. (14.1 g.) / 2.2 lbs. (1 KG) in total package
Calories: 78 calories (estimate) in .5 oz. serving*
Cost: $15.00 for 1 large package of cacao beans
Purchased from: Meridian Cacao, online order

Welcome to Day #8 of Cacao Nibs Theme Week, and Day #3 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Peru Cuzco Raw Cacao Beans were from Meridian Cacao (Portland, OR). 

Meridian Cacao directly sources single origin cacao beans (from several countries); and they offer beans, cacao nibs, cocoa butter, and other craft chocolate-making essentials. 

Yesterday and today, I "made" my own raw cacao nibs, from these Peru raw cacao beans. Raw cacao tastes different than roasted cacao. The beans had a more uniform, and deeper dark color once the skin/husk remnants were removed.

Aroma notes for these raw cacao beans included: fresh cacao, subtle fermentation (wine-like) that diminished after opening, and faint green floral.

Texture: satisfying; firm, nut-like crunch; even texture. Unlike yesterday's White Piura beans which were very easy to shell/break into pieces by hand, today's Cuzco beans took a little more effort. (These beans were wrapped into a towel and gently thumped with a small hammer.)

Flavor notes included: smooth, very slightly nutty cocoa flavor with light, balanced sweet green floral, and cookie (coconut oatmeal cookie, graham cracker).

Raw cacao tastes different than roasted cacao. I really enjoyed these high-quality, minimally processed cacao beans, with original flavors intact, just right out of the bag. 

Both yesterday's and today's Meridian Peru beans/nibs would make a great chocolate bar, confection, or high-end snack.  If you like dark chocolate, I highly recommend sampling different varieties (and origins) of high-quality cacao beans (side-by-side). Meridian is a great source for cacao beans.

Ingredients: Raw cacao beans

Allergen-related information: (none listed on package)

*Estimates of calorie counts (kcals) for raw cacao beans range from 130-180. I'm using 155 calories per ounce here to estimate calories. The fat content (cacao butter) varies with different growing locations (climate, latitude) as well as cacao variety and other variables. E.g., cacao grown at the cooler, outer edges of the cacao growing zone (more than 20 degrees from the Equator) may contain more fat.


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