March 2017

Posted on April 5, 2017

Ah March…the season of crazy weather (at least here in North Carolina), NCAA basketball, and the anticipation of the coming spring and summer. One of the primary implications of that being the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables, which we always eagerly anticipate.

So, in celebration of the impending arrival of fresh fruits coming to a farmer’s market near you, we decided to feature fruits in each of the three bars. Which fruits specifically, you had to guess, of course. So let’s see exactly what they were!

Bar A

Well, the first thing we’d like to point out about this bar is its origin. Well, perhaps not the origin of the cacao beans that eventually birthed this bar, but more accurately where the chocolate was made.

And where is that, you ask? Right here in North Carolina!

So it’s off to a good start, then. But how is the tasting experience?

Well, upon first bite, you immediately get the sensation that you’re tasting incredibly high quality chocolate. This is a bar that is as pure as it gets.  As the taste of the dark chocolate hits your tongue you can’t help but savor the flavor as it melts in your mouth.

But then, you remember (or perhaps realize, depending on how absorbed by the chocolate you were) that there’s a whole other aspect to this bar.  “But wait, there’s more?” you say. That’s right — don’t forget about the inclusion!

As if it couldn’t get any better, it does. The crack of the perfectly-tempered chocolate is interrupted by the soft texture of our inclusion. Once you get into it, the tasting sensation sweetens.

So what exactly is that soft, sweet inclusion?

75-dark-chocolate-blueberries-brasstown-chocolate

75% Dark Chocolate with Blueberries by Brasstown Chocolate

Brasstown is a chocolate company (again, right here in North Carolina) that has taken a rather sharp trajectory to the top of the craft chocolate universe. Each bar is hand made so we love the attention to detail, and the artisanal approach taken in their chocolate making philosophy.

We love the choice of blueberries in this bar — they didn’t use overly dried fruit, or fruit juice or anything like that, but rather soft and juicy blueberries that contrast so beautifully with the firm temper of the dark chocolate.

Let’s move on…

 

Bar B

This is the first stone ground chocolate bar that we’ve included. For the uninitiated, stone ground chocolate is a slightly different way of producing chocolate that has become more popular over the last couple of years.

This method of making chocolate (presumably using stones to grind the chocolate) utilizes less processing than other methods, which proponents say retains more of the original flavor — and more of the nutrients.

Whether that is true or not we will not delve into. However, what we can say for sure (and we’re sure you can too, if you’ve had this bar or any other stone ground chocolate) is that the texture is quite different compared to traditional chocolate bars.

Stone ground chocolate trades the creamy smoothness of regular, highly processed chocolate (yes, even dark chocolate — think about a Ghirardelli or Lindt bar for context here) for an almost nutty grittiness. It might take some getting used to, we admit, but once it grows on you this type of chocolate is quite delicious.

Now, once the stone ground texture grows on you, you start to see why they say this chocolate retains more flavor. Not only that, but this bar, which obviously has added flavor due to the inclusion that is your task to guess, definitely has an extremely robust, vibrant flavor that jumps out at you.

And that neatly brings us to the point at which we say…”so what exactly WAS that inclusion?”

Well, what was it? Let’s reveal it now…

60-dark-chocolate-raspberry-nibs-taza

60% Stone-Ground Dark Chocolate with Raspberries & Nibs by Taza Chocolate

Was this your first experience with a stone ground chocolate bar? If so, let us know what you thought about it! (Or if you have a strong opinion one way or the other, we’ve love for you to chime in!)

Now, on to the last bar…

 

Bar C

This bar had the most number of inclusions that we’ve ever included of any bar — by far.

Yes, there were FIVE unique flavors included in this bar. That’s a lot, we admit, but remember that the more inclusions there are, the higher your probability of getting at some of them right is. And, it also means there are more Cacao Points up for grabs! (Don’t forget, you earn 10 Cacao Points for every inclusion guessed correctly.)

And yes, they are all berries.

But which berries are they? (Or, perhaps more in line with what’s going through your mind right now: which berries are NOT included?)

Let’s take a look…

white-chocolate-mixed-berries-butlers

White Chocolate with Berries by Butlers

Okay, so what were all five fruits included? And, more importantly, could your nimble, well-trained taste buds detect all five?

Well, here’s the list: (deep breath) strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and lingonberries (If you’ve ever been to IKEA, you know what lingonberries are. Otherwise, feel free to Google it.)

All jokes aside about the extensiveness of their berry selection, this was a delicious white chocolate bar. How did you like it? Tell us in the comments!

And that’s a wrap!

On to the April box. Happy spring everyone!

(And don’t miss the Easter + Mother’s Day sale. Just click the bar at the top of the site to reveal it.)

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