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15 May 2016 @ 07:25 pm
Darker than Black, Week 12: Raaka Virgin Chocolate Maple & Nibs  
This is the third Raaka bar I've posted since starting Darker than Black, but it's because we have so many of them. A month and a half or so ago, they sent me an email about a chocolate subscription service that they have, and after debating it for a bit I signed up. Three gourmet chocolate bars a month? I'm enough of a foodie hipster that that sounds like a great deal to me. And while we had some difficulty with getting our first shipment, they resent another one. And now we're finally getting around to eating it.

I may end up just letting some of the Raaka chocolate we get go unwritten about, since a lot of the shipment bars are very small batch runs and there would be no way for you, dear reader, to get a hold of any unless you also signed up for their service. At least with softlykarou's flourless chocolate cake, you could theoretically ask her to make you some, or show up at a party where it was being served, or something similar. I try to keep my reviews to something that could plausibly be bought, even albeit with difficulty in some cases, or only by those local to Chicago.

I also don't want to flood Darker than Black with posts about only one company. At least, not more than I already have.


I like the swirls on the packaging.

I'm not sure what nibs are supposed to taste like--though I suspect the occasional burst of darker chocolate flavor I got when I took another bite are the taste of the nibs--but I know what maple is supposed to taste like, and while it wasn't particularly strong here, it was there. Not maple syrup, but maple sugar, whcih is probably a lot easier to add to the chocolate anyway. The ad copy on the back of the bar says it give the result a "deep fudge flavor," and while I think that's overstating it a bit, it's not doing so by much. It did have a bit of that fudge taste while still being pretty crunchy due to all the nibs stuck on the back.

The flavor wasn't consistent either, but not in a bad way. Sometimes it was just pure dark chocolate, sometimes I bit down and got a nibs burst, and sometimes I hit more maple sugar and it tasted more like fudge. It made it unpredictable in a way that didn't bother me because it wasn't like any of the taste was bad. It wasn't like some of the times I was eating curries from Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries and bit straight down into a clove or other bit of spice that I wasn't expecting. I think the unroasted cacao made it taste a bit darker to me, too. The wrapper says 75% cacao, but it didn't taste that sweet to me. Though maybe that's because I've been having frozen custard the last couple of nights rather than chocolate...  photo Emot-happycat.gif

There's one thing that caught us by surprise. The last Raaka chocolate bar we ate was mostly just a brick of chocolate, with a light sprinkling of dust, but not this. When we opened up the wrapper, we found to our surprise that the bottom was covered in cacao nibs and maple sugar bits. It looked really appetizing.


Studded with tastiness.

softlykarou's Opinion
I couldn't taste the maple as much as dorchadas could but I still really enjoyed this chocolate bar. I keep cocoa nibs in the kitchen and add them to my yogurt when I want that bitter crunchy note to something. It added nice texture to the chocolate and it that was the main flavor I got then I'm still happy with it. Raaka's chocolate is incredibly smooth and it feels really nice to even hold in my hand. My hands are apparently colder than dorchadas's because my chocolate didn't melt in my hand!
As I've mentioned before, there's a myth among Japanese sushi chefs that women make poorer chefs than men because their hands are warmer. With the two of us, though, that's a lie. I always end up with melted chocolate on my hands when we're eating anything that's not mass-produced supermarket chocolate. It does not feel nice to hold in my hand because I'm too busy eating it to make sure that it doesn't completely melt all over the place.

Also, I didn't realize that softlykarou kept cacao nibs around. She's been holding out on me!  photo emot-colbert.gif
 
 
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