Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Dude, Sweet Chocolate - "A Holiday In Cambodia Bar" + Elements Truffles - Rose Cardamom Dark 70% bar - Mar. 31, 2024

Chocolate(s) of the Day

Dude, Sweet Chocolate 
"A Holiday in Cambodia Bar"
Good ++
Weight: .775 oz. (22 g.) /1.55 oz. (44 g.) in total bar
Calories: 120 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Dude, Sweet Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate, Flowers and Honey Week, and Day #1 of Chocolate and Thailand Week. 

There are two Thai-related chocolates today. 

The Rose Cardamom bar with ingredients from Thailand from Elements Truffles I tasted five years ago, but wanted to enjoy the lovely rose smell and taste again. The primary chocolate involved crossing the Thai border to try this "Holiday in Cambodia" chocolate bar. Not Thailand; but the two neighboring countries share a 500-mile border(s) and many culinary and cultural traditions.*

Today's unique "A Holiday in Cambodia Bar" from Dude, Sweet Chocolate (Dallas, TX) contains SE Asian inspired flavors (Palm Sugar, Cambodian Black Pepper)--and Pop Rocks (popping candy) that relate to holidays celebrated with fireworks in Cambodia (Independence Day in Nov.) and Thailand. (New Year's Day in Thailand (Songkran) is April 13th.) 

A Holiday in Cambodia Bar

Aroma notes included: dark chocolate (roasted cacao), pleasant sweetness (coconut or unrefined sugar) and very faint spice.

Texture: The Pop Rocks created little crunchy, sweet candy explosions in my mouth. About the closest thing one could get to culinary fireworks (other than chili peppers perhaps). 

Flavor notes included: dark chocolate; unrefined/coconut palm sugar; and faint warm spice and coconut. (The palm sugar was nice; not quite as buzzy and dominant as refined (white) cane sugar.) Overall, a fun bar to try, and well-executed and creative take on a southeast Asian international experience. 

Pairing suggestions: Tea, wine, or blue butterfly pea flower tea** with coconut milk and honey or palm sugar, if you can make or find it (or ingredients) in your area. Think Thai iced a lovely shade of blue.

Rose Cardamom Dark Chocolate 70% (bar)

Elements Truffles
Rose Cardamom Dark 70% (bar)
Good ++
Weight: .9 oz. (25 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/2 bar 
Cost: $9.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Today's second chocolate: a Rose Cardamom Dark 70% (bar) was from Elements Truffles (Union City, NJ) and contained Thai-inspired rose elements. (As indicated above, I had tasted this bar before, in 2018.)

Aroma notes included: smooth dark chocolate; fragrant rose/rosewater; and faint cardamom.

Flavor notes for this gentle (cocoa butter prominent) but flavorful 70% bar included: smooth dark chocolate; rose, rose, and more authentic rose; and a trace of cardamom spice. If you enjoy floral and honey flavors, you'll love the sweet, soft authentic rose aroma and flavor.

This bar was well balanced and relatively low in bitterness/acidity--in part due to cocoa butter (#1 ingredient).

Ingredients: "Organic Cacao Butter, Raw Honey, Organic Cacao Powder, Rose Essential Oil, Cardamom Essential Oil."

Allergen-related information: "Made in a facility that processes nuts"

Cambodia and Thailand are two of the oldest kingdoms in Southeast Asia. Both were once part of the Khmer civilization (when the empire included all of Cambodia, and parts of Thailand and Laos). The two countries have many similar cultural and culinary traditions, some language overlaps. In recent centuries, the relationship between the two countries has been influenced by French colonization in SE Asia, cultural influences from India and China, and many other factors. (It's complicated.) 

Both countries are worth visiting and are in a climactic zone where cacao, palm sugar, flowers and spices (ginger, lemongrass, peppers) grow. Both have lovely cuisines, traditions, and at least one holiday involving fireworks. A Thai version of this Holiday in Cambodia bar might have a little more (spicy) heat; both countries offer complementary flavors that can be (continue to be) successfully blended with cacao.

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