Sunday, March 03, 2013

Chocolate from Cacao Sampaka

Cacao Sampaka is a Spanish chocolate maker.  I found them at my local chocolate shop, intrigued by their white chocolate, of all things.  I had been in a bit of a white chocolate mood, and I was curious what a quality white chocolate would be like, as white chocolate doesn't exactly have the best reputation, and I knew if this chocolate shop was carrying it, there must be a good reason, as they carry only the best everything, and I'd never seen a white chocolate in the shop before.  It really was amazing, although clearly in a different category from cocoa based chocolate.  The success of the white chocolate inspired me to try several of their other bars as well, but the white was by far my favorite.
White Chocolate Tablet with Roses and Strawberries.
  • White Chocolate Tablet with Roses and Strawberries: "White chocolate is expertly blended with rose petals and strawberry pieces for a crunchy, fruity, floral, and delicate flavor." Tasting notes: This was as interesting as I was hoping it would be! No waxy, boring white chocolate here. The rose added a beautiful floral note to it, that you could both taste and smell, but it didn't ever cross over into the soapy realm. The little bits of strawberry added a great little crunch to the otherwise very smooth white chocolate. This was really different, and really quite intriguing.  It was delicious on its own, but also paired well with tea.  I didn't share this bar with anyone.  Loved it.
  • Gin & Tonic Tablet: Milk chocolate. Tasting notes: This was incredibly citrusy.  A thin, nice milk chocolate, with intense citrus flavor, in the form of crispies.  None of us tasted gin nor tonic however.
  • Xoconusco: Single origin 70% chocolate made from Royal Xoconusco cacao (criollo variety) from Chiapas, México. Tasting notes: no interesting flavors - not much fruit, not bitter, not complex in any way. Very smooth. I found this to be incredibly boring.
  • La Joya: Single origin 70% chocolate from the La Joya Plantation in Tabasco, México. Tasting notes: no bitterness, smooth, subtle spice flavor, better than Xoconusco but still pretty uninteresting. This bar was much lighter in shade than the Xoconusco, even though they were the same cacoa percentage, which lead to it being a little shocking - it looked like it was more of a milk chocolate, so the dark bitterness was a pleasant surprise.
  • Flor de Sal de Ibiza: 67% dark chocolate. Tasting notes: Detected some spice (nutmeg?). Most bitter of the bars we tasted. Nice salty finish. My favorite of their cocoa based bars I tried.
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