Friday, February 8, 2008
Comparative chocolate tasting
While browsing the snacks aisle in Rainbow Grocery, a line-up of 3 distinctive chocolate bars, each from cacao beans produced in different countries, and of a different cocoa content, caught my eye. Theo is the chocolatier's name, out of Seattle. Combining these 3 bars with one of the dozen or so whole cacao beans I bagged up from the bulk food section, we've got all the makings of an intriguing chocolate tasting.
Theo Madagascar Chocolate 65% Cacao
Produced from beans grown in Madagascar, this reminded me of any basic brand of bittersweet baking chocolate. Sweet-sour dried black currant type flavors here, with the sweetness not very well integrated. Not a repeat purchase.
Theo Ghana 84% Cacao
A darker chocolate, in color and flavor. Not very chocolatey, but a satisfying texture and dark, but not overly so, flavor.
Theo Venezuela 91% Cacao
The higher up you go in cacao percentage, the less chocolate flavors you get. Ironic, yes? This is a limited edition chocolate that has almost a whole grain cereal sort of savor to it. Interesting for academic purposes, but not all too pleasurable.
The whole cacao bean (origin unknown)
I was really excited to see these (actually the lady friend spotted them- thank you lady friend) in the impressive bulk food section of Rainbow Grocery. The smell was great - intense cocoa powder and at times, a hint of banana. Flavorwise, this is another curiosity. It tastes a bit chocolatey, a bit bitter, more than a bit raw and unprocessed. Which was fun for a change, to taste where chocolate comes from, straight from the source. Though once again, I don't see this replacing pantry space devoted to good quality chocolate bars anytime soon. I would especialy enjoy these on a prolonged hike, to provide that hiking in the Andean foothills feeling.