Kallari Chocolate has joined my chocolate snacking ranks.
I am very picky about my chocolate. It’s something of a running gag at Crave Local HQ, and scarier when you see the 5-10 pound bags of Valrhona and Askinosie chocolate in my kitchen. So I was really excited to test out Kallari, as I’m always out to try single origin bars.
And seriously, their team is adorable. Becca Roebbler included a postcard with ‘Happy blogging!” and a note that my boss gave her my address.
Now to the bars. At 70 grams/2.46 ounces and a suggested retail price of $5.99, these bars aren’t going to end up in my baking arsenal. (Most standard chocolate bars are closer to 100 g/3 oz.) But the Askinosie stash doesn’t get baked, either, so I can deal with that.
The 85% bar has a healthy hit of tannins, with strong oak/mahogany notes.
So, to offset the dryness of the bar, I used it as a topping for Beecher’s honey Blank Slate. It worked ridiculously well, the creaminess of the soft cheese matching the bitter chocolate toe for toe. I highly recommend this paring or something similar for introducing people to darker chocolate bars.
The 75% bar is closer to snacking chocolate, and has a citrus, floral background. It’s ridiculously smooth, reminiscent of the 70% Valrhona bars. I put it in a sundae with orange zest, orange slices, and a few scoops of vanilla Snoqualmie Ice Cream. It was refreshing, even on sundaes #2 and #3.
The 70% starts off with a hit of sugar, closer to what I think of when eating milk chocolate. As you eat it the flavor deepens, ending with vanilla and pepper/cloves. With that much sweetness, I paired them with potato chips for some savory and salt. If you’re going to try this, get the best potato chips you can get your hands on, or really good salt. Next time I would melt the chocolate as a topping over the potato chips, but I think I prefer to eat this treat straight.
Overall, I was impressed – and so were my housemates. The 85% and 75% bars are almost gone, and the 70% mysteriously vanished after I finished shooting. I’d love to include them in a blind tasting next and see what happens. Still, if you’re looking for a new bar or two to add to your tasting ranks, give them a try.
They’re a farmer’s coop of 850 families in the Ecuadorian Amazon, with all profits going back to the farming families. Using a Cacao Nacional varietal, they’re aiming for shade grown, single origin chocolate done sustainability, with the chops to prove it by being involved in the Presidium project.
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