Saturday, June 12, 2010

Daily Chocolate

TCHO may not be a name you know except in big cities but it is one you should know.  They sent The Chocolate Cult three samples to reveal to you as part of our Sacraments so today your Chocolate Priestess will look at their "TCHO-A-Day" product that came in a 14-day supply.  This review was exactly two weeks in the making so that I sampled it as it is supposed to be use, daily, to see if it satisfied all our sensory criteria as well as was enough to satisfy any chocolate craving I might have had that day.

There are actually four flavors in this 14-day supply.  Each is 1.5 by 1.5 inch square that is short of a quarter of an inch thick for a total of 8g or 18oz of chocolate.  While the names suggest different flavors these are matter of the cacao itself, which as I hope you recall, Sisters and Brothers, can have a wide range of essences based on the soil in which it is grown and the conditions under which it is cultivated.  There is soy lecithin here if that is a concern for anyone and possible traces the labels say for nuts or milk probably because of other candies they make in the same plant.

The "Chocolaty" variety is 70% Ghana cocoa and comes in a dark brown wrapper.  Four pieces come in this 14-day selection.  It has an interesting pattern grooved into the top that resembles something I've seen in math or science classes.  It has a nice dark, earthy scent to it and feels cool in my finger tips.  There are between 2-3 bites in this piece and if you chew it the bitterness has an almost vanilla taste reflecting the vanilla beans in it.  Letting it melt in my mouth dulls the bitterness but heightens the vanilla at first though the bitterness returns as an aftertaste.  My mind feels the cocoa expanding it as I finish this piece and I'm filled with satisfaction.

The "Citrus" squares come in the yellow wrappers and are made of 67% cacao from Madagascar.  This has a slightly difference cocoa fragrance and I can't be sure if I'm imagining it may be a citrus scent based on the color of the wrapper and the name of flavor or if it really has one.  The square itself looks identical as you can see.  The flavor has a sharp edge to it, a touch of sweetness that the previous square did not.  The ingredients list is identical so this must be due to the where the cocoa beans were grown.  As we've mentioned on this blog numerous times, Sisters and Brothers, the soil and conditions under which cocoa beans and the ingredients added to them to create chocolate greatly impact the flavor and texture of the Sacred Substance.  I like this just as much as the previous and fact the difference in the taste to be very intriguing.

In an orange wrapper I find the "Fruity" flavor that is 68% cacao from Peru.  It has a nice dark scent and the same look as the previous two pieces.  This does have a slightly fruity flavor that isn't the same as the previous flavor, more berry-like perhaps, with a touch of sweetness that turns to tartness at the end of a bite blending with the bitterness of the cocoa itself to make a very delicious and definitely unique essence.  It sort of makes my tongue tingle a bit and feel cooler.  I'm not completely sure why but it brings a smile to my face as this sensation and the aftertaste lingers for ten minutes or more.

Finally the 65% cacao variety from Ecuador is called "Nutty" and is encased in a light brown wrapper.  Even though this is 5% less cacao than the "Chocolaty" it really doesn't smell any different or look any different.  Let's face it, these are all in the very healthy category of dark chocolate.  Even though this square is identical to the others it tastes quite different.  A very bitter almost dry flavor that makes my mouth water as I chew it.  The "nutty" flavor isn't really there so much as a general earthyness to it.  Oddly this tastes like it has more cacao than the others even though I know it does not.  Simple chocolate that only grows more bitter with each bite or as you let it melt on your tongue so for the darkness chocolate lover out there, like me!

I actually sent "TCHO-A-Day" to one of our mothers and a grandmother back in May because it fit with what both of them wanted: small amount of chocolate per day and variety plus it was very reasonably priced.  Then we sent the same thing to our dad for Father's Day for the same reasons.  Add into that the fact that they support fair labor practices around the world and are organic this certainly qualifies as a Worthy Sacrament.  Once a day?  Practice Moderation and I'm sure you can have this just once a day.

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


Sylvarose said...

I like the new layout!


Cacao-Me said...

ditto with the new lay out.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks! I thought this took up more of the space on the site and looking at the sidebar seemed more natural to me for how our eyes move left to right if you are an English reader.

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