Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kallari Trio of Chocolate

The week started slow then picked right up in terms of posts, didn't it, Sisters and Brothers.  Since last Saturday we looked at a company that gives back to the people who grow and make their chocolate let's continue that trend and look at a company where every profit they makes goes to the growers and makers of their chocolate -- Kallari. In the Ecuadorian Amazon, the Kichwa families created a co-op of farmers in 1997 and in only 14 years they include over 850 member families who work together to protect the environment that allows cacao trees to flourish as well as empower their own communities to survive the onslaught of big companies who could come in and "develop" the area.

The red leaf box is their 70% cacao chocolate bar.  The ingredients are very simple: organic cacao beans, organic sugar cane, organic cocoa butter, and organic whole vanilla beans.  That's it, nothing else and these same ingredients are on each of the trio we were sent to review.  As soon as I unwrap the white cover over the 18 sections of chocolate, I am hit by a dark yet surprisingly sweet scent which increases as I break it apart to share.  The bar is dry but smooth in texture and for 70% cacao it is very smooth and somewhat buttery as well.

The 75% cacao bar is in the green leaf box.  Each of these boxes is made from 50% recycled paper by the way and each holds 2.46oz of chocolate inside.  You may be able to see that this bar is just a touch darker in color but it had an oddly less dark scent to it when I tore open the white wrapper.  This made a louder snap when I broke it into 18 sections but the scent didn't really change.  This too was dry and smooth in texture but the intensity of the bitterness was greater than in the previous bar but more than I would expect from a 5% increase.  There was also a very sugar cane flavor to this bar as well, completely unexpected.  This was my least favorite of the trio.

The purple leaf is the 85% cacao bar and I'm expecting something quite bitter based on the previous sample.  I apologize because it seems this photo was blurry for some reason.... the bar was broken, too, inside.  It was basically the same as the other two bars just a bit darker in color.  It had a strong cocoa scent though not as strong as I thought and hoped it might.  It snapped apart very easily and very loudly and that might explain why it out of the three bars was broken when I received it.  The taste was amazingly creamy, I was shocked but in a pleasant way by this fact.  The bitterness that should be such a high cacao content chocolate built up with each chew but never became overwhelming.  Let that be a lesson that not all bars are the same just from their percentage of cacao.

These bars tasted different in part because the amount of sugar changed in each one from 11g in the 70% down to 5g in the 85%.  The Kallari website tells us that they grow several species of cacao trees and they blend the beans together to create the different flavors.  There is no cholesterol nor sodium in these bars but they do have saturated fats, naturally more for the darker chocolate, and a decent amount of fiber per bar at 8 grams.  Low fat, no, but some fat is good for you and some is necessary to live healthy.  You'd do a lot worse with a lot of other bars of chocolate than this trio.

Would you like to help those who grow the cacao that turns into your chocolate, Sisters and Brothers?  Kallari is another company that does just that. Furthermore the bars they sent us are high quality, cocoa buzz inducing chocolate.  Kallari hires the title of Sacrament from The Chocolate Cult.  Figuring out where to purchase Kallari is a bit tricky since they don't sell directly to you, the buying public.  But you can find them online at Chocosphere or you can search for your state at this website.

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