Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Riot of Cocoa For Valentine's Day

Cited in several big-name magazines and sought out by celebrities, sweetriot sent your Chocolate Priestess two different types of products to reveal to you all, and I was so honored.  The first type is their chocolate-coated cocoa nibs, which are covered in chocolate with varying degrees of cocoa content.  From now until the end of February you can buy all three flavors as a "Cupid's Cacao 3 Pack" special.  So let's take a look at each of these 1-ounce tins, in order from lowest to highest cocoa content.  Each one of these is made from Latin American cacao and is dairy and gluten free as well as kosher.

"Flavor 50" has a a lavaflow-like pattern on the tin and contains dark cacao nibs with 50% dark chocolate coating.  If you ate this entire tin, Sisters and Brothers, you'd get 140 calories, 11 grams of fat (what type is not specified either on the tin or the website), 10 g sugars and 2 g protein.  The tin's lid is wrapped with a thick plastic that comes off easily.  Inside, it is full to the top with these tiny little chocolate-covered pieces, which I spread out on a cloth for this photograph so you could see them a bit better.    When I take a breath in, I get a nice full, dark fragrance of cocoa.  I take just one of these pieces, or "peaces," as they are called by the company, and it makes a slight crunch as I chew it.  There is an immediate burst of the wonderful earthy nib flavor and texture along with a less bitter chocolate from the coating.  Inside the tin is a slip of paper similar to the fortune in a cookie that has a saying on one side and a set of lucky numbers on the other.  A little extra fun!

The plastic wrap over the top of "Flavor 65" is a little harder to take off for some reason.  This is the tin with a psychedelic flower pattern on it, and it contains dark cacao nibs covered in 65% chocolate.  In terms of color, this may be slightly darker than the 50%, but not different enough that my camera will pick it up.  These pieces do have a darker scent to them but are the same collection of various shapes and sizes we saw above.  One tin has 140 calories, 12 g fat, 7 g sugars, and 2 g protein.  When I taste one I can immediately tell that this is a much darker cocoa with a sharper bitterness to it but still that earthy nib flavor as well.  Inside is another "fortune," but I leave it in there for now.

Finally we turn to the "Flavor 70" tin, which has a cell structure sort of design coupled with orange coloring on it.  In terms of nutrition this is identical to the previous tin but with 1g less sugar.  This isn't just cocoa and chocolate, because it also contains espresso.  Given my positive reaction and the cocoa buzz from the lower cocoa content ones, I'm a bit concerned that the coffee may be unnecessary and may mask the chocolate, but I have to try one to see.  First, in terms of color it appears to be the same as the 65%, but in terms of smell this is more mellow, with a hint of coffee.  When I eat a piece I get the cocoa along with the nib's unique flavor and texture, but then that fades into the espresso, which then fades to just the nib's earthiness at the end.  I'm not as pleased, but then, as you know, Sisters and Brothers, I'd rather the chocolate was always the primary flavor, and I'm not a huge fan of coffees.  The buzz here doesn't seem to be as good as with the 65%, and I think that's a result of the coffee flavor distracting me.  For coffee and cocoa lovers, though, this would be excellent.

These tins are great ways to get a little chocolate fix quickly.  The tins are also easily transportable, but do be wary of temperature changes and keep moisture from them, or you will risk sugar and fat bloom.  If this trio of chocolate covered cocoa nibs sounds like something your loved one would enjoy, check it out.  But hurry, because Valentine's Day is a week from Sunday, 8 days from now, and this trio will be on sale only until the end of February.  Or if you want to stock up, you can get these tins in larger quantities at a discount and give them throughout the year.  Sometime this spring or summer I'll reveal another sweetriot offering to you all, so keep reading, commenting, and spreading the word about The Chocolate Cult.

Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.

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