Tuesday, April 16, 2024

J. Street Chocolate - Olive The Thyme 70% Dark Chocolate (bar) - April 15, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

J. Street Chocolate 
Olive The Thyme 70% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.)/ 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 136.4 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 (web site price today) for 1 bar
Purchased from: J. Street Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Umami Theme Week--and time to feature a few chocolate bars from J. Street Chocolate (San Francisco, CA). 

J. Street founder and bean-to-bar chocolate maker (Julia Street) explores chocolate "through the world of fermentation, upcycled food, and single origin bars." 

Today's bar includes one of my favorite fermented and umami foods: olives. There aren't many chocolates with olives (although there are some good ones made with olive oil). So, I was delighted to find this bar -- made less than 35 miles from where I live.

Olives are fermented. And the process of fermentation often enhances umami and other flavors (think miso soup, kimchi, marmite, parmesan cheese, etc.). Almost all chocolates are made with fermented and roasted cacao. I'm fond of umami flavor inclusions in (and pairings with) chocolate.

Aroma notes for today's "Olive The Thyme" 70% dark chocolate (Batch # OTT11) included: dark chocolate, faint lemon-green herb (oxalis) and very faint salt/savory. The olives were harvested in/from Healdsburg (California)--and cured--by the maker.

Texture: smooth dark chocolate with crunchy textural accents from roasted almond bits. (The almonds were roasted just right.)

Flavor notes included: bright, slightly acidic but balanced fruity dark chocolate, and slightly savory (olive) and very faint almond (mostly in the texture, a wee bit in the taste). The toasted almond bits helped balance the fruit/acidity. The olive and the thyme were both very subtle. Soft, complex ripples of flavor--slightly more present in some bites than others--made this a mellow, well-executed, chocolate umami treasure.

A doff of the hat to the maker for her choices, including the complementary cacao origin/variety and  highlighting fermented and umami flavors and ingredients (olives + chocolate + almonds + thyme in this case). I like chocolate and umami flavors (apart and together); and I've also foraged and made olives before. I could imagine and appreciate the process that went into the creation of this bar; and that was fun.

Maker's description/tasting notes: "Bright fruity chocolate paired with locally cured black olives, toasted almonds, and lemon thyme...The fruitiness of the Tanzanian beans pairs...with the bright citrus-y butter-y olives..."

Ingredients: "cacao beans from Kokoa Kamili in Tanzania*, cane sugar*, almonds*, locally cured black olives, cocoa butter*, lemon thyme (*Organic)

Allergen-related information: (Contained almonds.) (No other allergen information was listed on the packaging.)

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