Saturday, March 16, 2019

2 Raw Bars and a Fine Bonnie Chocolate

Today we are going to look at three more bars from FINE & RAW chocolate. Two of their standard chocolate bar line -- lucuma and vanilla at 67% cacao and their 70% cacao bar -- and one from their Brooklyn Bonnie Collection.  As you can see in the photo of these trio, the various collections have their own art on the cover so you can easily tell them apart but also the Brooklyn Bonnies are on whiter paper. We were given these three bars for free in exchanged for us testing them out and writing about them; no other form of compensation was received for this far and honest sharing of our founder's experience with them.

We'll start with the 67% bar even though it has lucuma and vanilla in it. In past experiences of lucuma I have found it overwhelming sweet but vanilla is fairly standard in most chocolates these days. The floral pattern here is very charming because while it covers nearly the entire front of the wrapper the basic black and red designs is actually quite soothing. I was trying to determine if that pattern is supposed to be vanilla (definitely not) or the lucuma plant (maybe) but in a stylized form. On to the bar! The paper wrapper covers a gold/silver wrapper and the bar inside is dark in color and made up of 18 squares with the company logo over it. It has a very intensely dark chocolate and sweet fragrance, the sweetness is the lucuma based on my previous experience with that sweetener. I break off the bottom row and from it one square; it makes a loud snap. At first the flavor is very subtle but with each chew both the bitterness of the chocolate and the sweetness of the lucuma increases and nearly drowns out the vanilla. Honestly that lucuma only increases the bitterness making these taste like a 80% and above bar which is a lot even for my dark chocolate loving mouth.

Next let's look at the 70% bar -- basic and simple it should be but as far as your Chocolate Priestess is concerned, that purity should also be the best chocolate around. Let's see if this one is. This looks much like the previous bar. This has a wonderful dark chocolate scent. The bar makes a loud snap when I broke off the bottom row and then the pieces. The flavor is subtle then increases with each chew; it comes complex, a sweetness edge the bitterness but ultimately a light bitter essence wins out that an almost citrus quality to it. I let another piece melt on my tongue which brought out the sweetness a bit more but it never overpowered the chocolate's full bitterness; it did let me note a bit of graininess in the texture of the bar that I missed when chewing it. This is a bar I could just keep eating but you do need to love darker chocolate because this tastes darker than 70% normally does, think high 70s.

We'll end with the sea salt bar from the Brooklyn Bonnie Collection. I flipped this bar over for the photo to show you the pieces of organic sea salt in the bar because that is not as obvious against the etched logo design. The back suggests that the sea salt crystals may not be evenly spread but I only broke off the bottom row to try as I have with the other bars. In that row I didn't encounter large amounts of the sea salt but it did affect the flavor. There is a subtle saltiness but the chocolate itself has an edge that tastes a bit coffeelike (not my favorite) so hesitated to let a piece melt on my tongue but I did it for all of you, Readers. That grainy texture is evident again as it melts as well as tiny crystals of salt, the coffeelike flavor wasn't as intense this way... I need to have our coffee expert try this bar to see what she thinks.

There we have it. Three more chocolate bars from the folks out in Brooklyn, FINE & RAW chocolate. All are made with organic ingredients and the company makes each bar from the bean processing onward. I did not like all of these bars equality. The lucuma was overwhelming to me. The Sea Salt Bonnie had too much a coffeelike flavor for me personally. That leaves the 70% bar -- pure, simple, perfect!

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