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13 March 2016 @ 03:44 pm
Darker than Black, Week 4: Taza Dominican Republic Single Origin Stone-Ground Organic Chocolate  
It's like a wine variety. It's 80% cacao, but I couldn't put that in there because it would have overflowed the title length restrictions.

softlykarou wasn't here last week, so I ended up skipping that week's Darker than Black. The benefit of eating chocolate is that softlykarou doesn't have to spend a lot of time cooking and prepping, but it's still a joint series and I didn't want to do it without her. Her opinion as someone who isn't mono-maniacally focused on the cacao content of the chocolate she eats brings a valuable touch to this series. Also, she's my wife, of course I want to include her.

This week's chocolate is brought to you by my parents, who came into town a few weeks ago to see the Orchid Show at the Chicago Botanic Garden. As is their tradition, they brought in a bunch of presents for us when they came. Mostly just newspaper articles and magazines that they found interesting, but this time there was also some chocolate because of Valentine's Day. So I immediately threw it on the queue for Darker than Black. At least, I threw some of it on there. The sea salt caramels got eaten pretty quickly as they are beyond the scope of this series.

Stone-ground chocolate falls just into the tolerable zone texture-wise for me. I usually don't like food that's too gritty, and in my experience stone-ground chocolate definitely has a gritty, crumbly taste. However, the benefit of it being 80% cacao is that it's much creamier, enough so that the gritty texture is more of an accent to the overall taste rather than the only thing that occupies my taste buds.

I have pretty specific hangups about food, I know. As I've said, milk chocolate mostly just tastes like chalk to me, which is why this is a blog series about dark chocolate rather than all chocolate. See also my problems with (American) eggplants most evidence in the eggplant curry entry.

Part of the reason I wanted to do Darker Than Black is because I was curious if there was something to single-origin chocolate and taste notes and the terroir, or whether, like wine, it's all stupid bullshit. For the moment, I don't have enough evidence to really make a determination yet, but there was nothing about this chocolate that seemed particularly noteworthy or different. The grittiness stood out, of course, but that's because of the way that it was prepared and not because of its specific origin or anything Dominican Republicesque about it. It was good, certainly, but not great or really something that stood out. If you made me taste thing blind, I wouldn't have been able to determine anything about it other than that it's chocolate and that it was stone-ground.


softlykarou's Opinion:
I've had stoneground chocolate before so I was prepared for the texture and thickness of the bar. Unlike a lot of chocolate which can leave me feeling a bit less satsified, stoneground chocolate tends to leave me feeling full, like I've had enough chocolate and am good to go. Even though this was 80%, I was surprised by how sweet it was. All in all, it's nothing crazy to write home about but I enjoy it.
That's a pretty good summary. This is good chocolate, and I would recommend it, but if you're not a chocolate aficionado there's no reason to get it other than something that's a bit cheaper and won't taste that much different. Or if you're worried about child labor producing your chocolate, which is part of the reason for single-origin bean-to-chocolate to exist. Stone-ground is another reason, since it provides a specific texture that some people who aren't me might really like. Not bad, in summary.
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