This comes part of a trade I did last year with a friend. Tickets to my beer festivals for chocolate via my friend Emily Shartin.
This is one of those moments where you don't even care if this chocolate you are about to eat is going to be good or not because the label is effing awesome! Just look at how hot that label is. Simple and awesome. Love it.
This is Fine & Raw. A chocolate company out of Brooklyn, New York. This is a little bit about them via their website.
Daniel worked as a raw chef in the high desert of Arizona and perfected the art of chocolate back in New York. A sprinkle of adventure and creativity guided Daniel through his dreams and the ancient mysteries of cacao. He brought raw chocolate to life in a notorious Brooklyn loft. FINE & RAW was immediately alive, enlightened and intoxicating...
FINE & RAW is a fresh new company that believes the future is beautiful. To help bring this thought to life we strive to be green and sustainable where ever possible.
We'll be the first to admit we're not perfect. From the big issues, like fairtrade and carbon foot prints, down to using energy efficient light bulbs, we're learning to be greener all the time.
Our cacao is fairtrade and comes from a small cacao farmers co-op that practices sustainable farming. Cacao is a shade grown plant requiring a foliage canopy to grow. Our cacao farmers maintain the rainforests which provide natural symbiotic canopies for the plant. The farmers also grow an heirloom variety of cacao, which promotes bio-diversity of plant species within the rainforest ecosystem.
All our ingredients are organic, which means no unnecessary toxins, chemicals or pollutants are pumped into the environment. Our packaging is recycled and the inks we use are non-toxic and vegetable based.
We want the planet to be strong so it can grow more chocolate. Yum yum!
What is raw Chocolate?
Raw chocolate is a reverence for creaminess, possibility and ecology. Creativity, innovative play, laughter and movement are the infused flavors.
Raw chocolate is a carefully chaotic celebration of life! Cunningly absent of sugar, dairy and additives, its the highest antioxidant food source we know. All the ingredients are in their natural state - crafted at low temperatures to keep the flavor, nutrients and vitality of this celebrated food alive and buzzing.
Fine & Raw Mesquite Bar
Bean Varietal: I am only seeing via their website that the beans come from Ecuador. Since nearly all bear production from Ecuador is Arriba Nacional, I am going to assume that that is the varietal being used.
Type: Flavored semisweet.
Sample Size: 54g or 2oz. Only comes from their Chocolate Bar Gift Box, not sold individually.
Ingredients: Raw cocoa paste, yacón powder (sweetner), cocoa butter, mesquite powder.
More information on mesquite powder can be read about here. This is not the kind used in the chocolate but it has good detail on what it is and what it tastes like.
Appearance: A muted shine, softer, dark brown, simple molding without deep grooves, and the appearance of a grittiness.
Snap: Decent snap. Difficult to snap due to the light scoring marks or ridge lines from the molding. Breaks off in two bars not single bars (tested twice).
Aroma: Cinnamon, spices like chili powder or cayenne pepper, roasted cocoa but drowned out by spices.
Taste: No bitterness, very little sweetness, cinnamon, spicy pepper taste without any heat whatsoever, mesquite has big impact. A savory retro-olfaction and lingering after taste of garlic and onion powder.
Texture: Gritty, soft, fast melt.
While this chocolate, certainly isn't getting the greatest ratings, it's really fun to eat. It's savory and leaves an interesting aftertaste. The nose may have been dominated by cinnamon and spice, but that doesn't mean it doesn't smell good. It smells wonderful, but for the purposes of reviewing, the cinnamon tended to drown out everything else.
The grittiness may have come from the mesquite powder as some variations of it are not as refined. I don't have a lot of experience with mesquite powder, so you will have to forgive my lack of detail on that.
This chocolate is fun. A little funky, but fun. And again I refer you to the label. How can you ignore something so cool like that.
Final Score: 84.4