Wednesday, February 7, 2024

U. Chocolate Corp. - "Coffee Experience" 78% Organic Dark (bar) - Feb. 6, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

U. Chocolate Corp.
"Coffee Experience" - 78% Organic Tree-to-Bar (bar)
Good + - Good ++ 
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 15.8 oz. (450 g.) total variety pack of 5 flavors (10 bars)
Calories: 163 calories in 2/3 bar
Cost: $29.99 for 1 variety pack of 10 bars (2 each of 5 flavors)
Purchased from: U Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #8 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's "Coffee Experience" 78% Organic, Premium Tree-to-Bar, Dark Chocolate (bar) was made in Peru and distributed by U. Chocolate Corp. (Orlando, FL).* This was part of a larger (10-bar) chocolate variety pack that included four other Peruvian (Amazonia) cacao bars featured this week.**

The cacao used to make U Chocolate bars is crafted "at our organic farm in the Amazonia with a selection of our fine aroma cocoa varieties..." ("Grown, Harvested and Crafted with 100% plant-based ingredients by El Mejor Cacao del Mundo S.A.C. in our all-in-one facilities at Hacienda Umbelina, in the Peruvian Amazonia.")

Aroma notes included: dark chocolate (bold, spicy cacao), with initial pepper (green pepper, very faint pickled capers), faint coffee, and aromatic pipe tobacco notes. 

As with all five bars in this Amazonian variety pack, savor these chocolate(s) slowly, and leave freshly opened chocolates out to breathe, and re-taste them later, to enjoy intricate and often mellower and more delicate flavors. Unique (and balanced) vegetal notes (pepper, capers in today's bar) dissipated fairly quickly after opening, allowing other flavors to unfold (coffee, tropical fruit, spice and faint floral notes in today's bar).

Flavor notes included: bold dark and spicy 78% chocolate that was made darker with (fully incorporated) coffee, tobacco (pipe tobacco with very faint, fleeting, floral/inferred vanilla). Lighter flickers of spice (cardamom) and tropical fruit (banana, passion fruit) emerged after the package had been opened for several minutes.

This flavorful, bold chocolate reminded me of a smoky scotch whiskey. That doesn't mean it will automatically pair with a whiskey, but if I were going to investigate possible beverage pairings, I might start there. This would also make for one heckuva mocha. Hang on to your hat. 

What I liked about this attractively packaged 78% dark chocolate: 1.) bold flavors and complexity--that would make for interesting beverage and food pairings; 2.) it was part of a variety pack that contained an authentic and interesting range of single origin cacao flavors from Peru; and tasting all these bars side-by-side offers a unique opportunity to experience cacao varietal flavors; and 3.) this organic, gluten-free chocolate was made with just three ingredients.

Ingredients: "Cacao, coconut blossom sugar and coffee"

Allergen-related information: "Made Without Major Food Allergen Ingredients" 

*The "U" in U Chocolate stands for Ucayali. The company describes the Ucayali as "the river that waters our cacao farm, Hacienda Umbelina, the world's first tree-to-bar farm and factory."

** The U Chocolate Variety Pack included 2 each of five different bars (Aroma Experience, Coffee Experience, Ginger Experience, Intense Experience and Wild Experience). Each of these five "Experiences" contained two individually wrapped/sealed bars). Today's "Coffee Experience" contained two separate bars (each in a sealed inner wrapper). The packaging made it easier to share with others, or save a second bar for later.


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