Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chocolate to Honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is "Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month" and while we don't hear about it as much as we do other cultural heritage months such as "Black History Month" or "Women's History Month" it was created by Congressional order in 1990.  Previous to that it has been a week celebration of Asian American culture since 1978.  While these particular chocolates are not made in any particular Asian nation, the edamame used in them is imported from Asia.  The food, edamame, or soybean, is an Asian stable that can be found in many restaurants today though still mainly in many Japanese and Chinese venues.  I was surprised to see it was incorporated into chocolate now and I'm happy that Praim, LLC, sent a box of the milk chocolate and dark chocolate variety from Sea Point Farms to test and reveal to you all.

Edamame Crunch Milk Chocolate bar is a 34% cocoa bar made with cocoa butter and chocolate liquor along with all natural other ingredients including milk and soy (edamame) if those are allergens concerns for you.  You can see the tiny pieces of Edamame right there in the bars and even a bit through the top.  These have a good, strong chocolate and slightly creamy scent.  Taking a bite didn't not make a sound but each bite into one of the dried Edamame did.  The chocolate starts to melt immediately in the mouth releasing a burst of creamy vanilla along with a saltiness from the crunchy soy.  The salt and the creaminess linger the longest on the tongue. Overall it was well balanced.

Edamame Crunch Dark Chocolate bar is 55% cocoa made from chocolate liquor and cocoa butter but oddly also added butter oil though the rest of the ingredients is identical to the milk chocolate bar.  No, this dark bar is not dairy free, it isn't that dark and it still has soy as well for our readers with allergies.  This bar is so dark that you can't see the Edamame through it but from the side when you break up the sections these are clear.  This has a darker cocoa fragrance and makes a soft crunch when I take a bite.  Contrary to some of our testers I do think there is a large difference in terms of taste between the two bars -- this has a definite bitter edge that isn't unpleasant and less salt from the crunch soy pieces.  The overall result is less balanced in terms of sweet and salty but then again it is dark chocolate and I don't expect sweet.  I wasn't expecting it to be quite as dark at 55% but then this is purer chocolate some some mass produced 55% bars we've had so not that surprising.  I love them but then you know that your Chocolate Priestess loves darker chocolate.

Several of our testers commented that the darker bar didn't taste much darker to them; as I said above, I disagreed.  The percent of cacao in each is 34% to 55% and while that should make a taste difference it won't be as much as we'd expect from a 70% or 25% bars. In this photo we can see that the bars look very different when you place them side by side. Don't expect sweet with your salty in the darker bar and you won't be disappointed; don't eat it though if you don't like dark chocolate.

Sea Point Farms is one of 15 brands of chocolate sold by Praim, LLC. Neither of these bars is low-calorie in any sense, both clock in at over 500 calories if you eat the entire bar but they are large bars at 3.5oz far bigger than the average candy bar you can probably find on store shelves around you.  Our testers really liked these bars and the ingredients are all natural.  For those two reasons, the Edamame Crunch Bars earn Sacrament status!  Well done!

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