Askinosie Mababu Tanzania 72% Dark Chocolate Bar

My co-worker Kevin B. gave me this single origin Askinosie bar.

I was really excited to try this, since I have had Askinosie bars before, and they were delicious. And this one was no exception. It was fantastic! It had an interesting earthy taste with a twangy aftertaste, similar to vinegar or citrus but not as strong. I loved it, and so did my co-workers! It disappeared quickly.

Thanks Kevin!

Letterpress Chocolate Tanzania 70% Dark Chocolate

The next Letterpress bar that Dini brought was from Tanzania.

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Wow, this bar was even better than the previous two, and it’s my favorite so far. It tasted much more chocolatey, almost fudgey, than the previous bars, and it had an astringent aftertaste that made you want to eat another piece. So I did. Twice. So did my co-workers. Then everyone talked about which of the three were their favorites so far, and everyone had a different favorite. I am looking forward to the next two countries!

Thanks again Dini!

Mast Coffee Chocolate

I found this bar at Whole Foods. I had heard of Mast Brothers chocolates but I had never tried any of their bars.

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This was a very unusual bar. It tasted much darker than its 60% cacao would imply, but that was probably the coffee flavor making it seem deeper. But there was an aftertaste of something tangy, and I checked the ingredients to find “buttermilk powder”. That explains it. And I suppose this ingredient makes this bar a milk chocolate bar. I liked it though, and so did my co-workers. It disappeared quickly.

BTW, a quick check online showed that the beans in the bar are sourced from Tanzania. I find it odd that they would leave off the single-origin nature of this bar from the label, but it doesn’t mention the bean origin anywhere. Oh well. I got a couple more bars from this brand, so I will try those out too!

Josophan’s Dark Chocolate 75% Tanzanie

This bar was part of a four-pack of single origin dark chocolate bars that I picked up at Josophan’s Fine Chocolates in Sydney.

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This bar was not big, but it packed a big taste. The chocolate flavor was quite deep, and like any good single origin bar, it had a singular note to it, somewhat like fruit, possibly a berry. I divided the bar in half and shared it with Robert, and we both agreed it was a very fine chocolate. I think Josophan’s is my favorite chocolatier in Sydney, although I have yet to try any Koko Black yet. That’s not to say Haigh’s and Chocolart’s weren’t very good, but this is my third Josophan’s chocolate, and they are three for three.

Pralus Pyramide des Tropiques

In August of 2011 on my birthday, I was in Seattle in Chocolopolis, a small chocolate shop in Queen Anne Hill, where I found this package of ten small chocolate bars, a tasting pack of chocolate.

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These were delicious, all of them. I must admit that my memory of the day is a bit hazy, as birthday libations followed my visit to this store, and I misplaced these and a few other labels after the trip, which is why they are appearing out of date order in my blog. But I remember tasting each bar and finding them all to be exquisite. All of them are single origin, and all were 75% cacao. I will need to try more bars from Pralus.

BTW, the Chocolopolis store was really amazing too. They have a wide range of unusual and rare chocolates, at least here in the States. They are worth a visit if you are in Seattle.

And speaking of libations, I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s Eve tonight! I’ll see you back here in 2014, with a whole bunch of new chocolates.

Trader Joe’s Tanzania Dark Chocolate

I found this single-origin bar at Trader Joe’s in February 2011.

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This chocolate was incredibly delicious! It was very rich and dark and very “roasted chocolate” in taste. It may have been one of the best chocolate bars I have ever had from Trader Joe’s. It was that good.

I thought this was my first chocolate from Tanzania, but it turns out I had had some before, the previous year, in a bar given to me by my friend Erik E. That bar was delicious too. Tanzania really knows how to grow its cacao!

Thornton’s Dark Chocolate Balsamic

Today let’s look at one of the most unusual chocolates that I ate in 2010. This bar was from my good friend Erik.

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First off, let me just say that this chocolate bar was delicious! It had a deep rich earthy chocolate flavor, with a bitter, somewhat astringent aftertaste that I would guess came from the balsamic vinegar. Otherwise, I couldn’t taste any vinegar component at all. It just tasted like a really good 75% cacao chocolate.

But this was also my first chocolate from Thornton’s, a confectioner in the UK, and my first taste of Tanzanian chocolate. I love that I have been eating chocolate for decades and there is still new stuff out there to discover, and some of it is really good, like this bar. Definitely recommended!