Oh yes! A bar of chocolate made with all natural ingredients and filled with a truffle center. The Bonbon bar. Word to your moms!
This bar was given to me by my friend Emily Shartin, the chocolate buyer of Formaggio Kitchen. She wanted me to try a very flavorful bar of chocolate from a solid chocolate maker in Brooklyn, NY.
Fine & Raw is a chocolate company out of Brooklyn using natural ingredients and green methods of sustainability.
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.
I have only had one previous experience with Fine & Raw. I reviewed their Mesquite bar. A strange bar that one was. Funky flavors mixed with chocolate. Bizarre yet fun. It's one of those bars that you have to try at least once and you might not enjoy it just as a bar. I found it kind of odd but then I started to think about melting it down and making variants of Mole sauces with it. It was only after thinking about what could be done with it that I fully began to appreciate it.
I am not going to lie though. I was mostly excited for the Mesquite bar because of the wrapper. A vintage cowgirl with a lasso. It's pretty bad ass.
Type: Filled bar.
Bean Varietal: Unknown, beans from Ecuador.
Ingredients: Raw cacao paste, cacao butter, blue agave, virgin coconut oil, cacao powder, himalayan sea salt.
Sample Size: 2oz or 54g
raw chocolate bar with a thin line of bonbon truffle running down the
inside center (2oz).
Dark raw chocolate bar with a thin line of bonbon truffle running down the inside center (2oz).
Appearance: Very damaged. This could come from a number of reasons, but it had a very oily and greasy feel to the bar. The oils in this bar began to separate from the cocoa. The foil wrapper was completely saturated with oils. It has a soft truffle center but the shell of the filled bar was very soft. This gave way to a poor snap character. I doubt there would have been a viable snap character anyway with the soft truffle center. But there would have been a small sound with a crisp chocolate shell. I don't know if this bar is always supposed to be this soft or if some how there was an issue along the way with heat exposure or any other reasons.
I have had a similar experience with a set of truffles that came to me from Patric. They were Elbow truffles made with Patric chocolate. They tasted so fantastic, but they got damaged along the way some how. They had a matted appearance and a bit of a sunken in effect from super soft truffle centers. It's a hard call when things like this happen. They might look messed up, but still they tasted like heaven. This bar was no exception.
Because of this I am not reviewing this chocolate like a standard bar. I am going to talk about the taste, texture, and aroma. I will give it one overall score.
Aroma: Huge coconuts, almonds, and rich roasted cocoa. Once again, a bar of chocolate that smells like a deeply rich Almond Joy. Obviously the coconut oils impact the aroma. I was hoping that the coconut was a natural aroma based on other chocolates I have reviewed with a robust coconut and almond aroma. But none the less, this aroma is unbelievably good. The bar was so fragrant that my entire living room smelled like rich coconut and almonds.
Taste: Coconuts, lovely hits of sea salt, rich roasted cocoa, nice bitter notes blended with sweet cocoa notes, and slight bit of astringency on the first taste.
Balanced flavors with the sea salt, richly roasted cocoa, and coconut make for a fantastic tasting bar. It's delicious and robust. It has a good balance of sweet salty, and bitter cocoa.
Texture: Soft chocolate shell, a bit oily on the surface, smooth soft center, creamy, melts fast.
The taste, creamy texture, and aroma completely save the day for this bar. I just wanted to eat more and more of it. The sea salt gave this bar a perfect balance. Rich cocoa notes big coconut taste and aroma, bittersweet and sweet cocoa tastes where rounded out by the contrasting sea salt taste. Excellent flavors and tastes.
It may not be totally fair to not score this bar based on appearance and snap, but this is an unusual bar of chocolate as it's filled with a truffle center. I am not sure where the issue happened with it's appearance, but it deserves a solid letter grade based on how good it smells and tastes. It's quite a fantastic bar of chocolate overall.