Bonus “F” bar – Fine & Raw Chocolate

Woke up this morning to discover that it’s “World Chocolate Day”! Originally, I wasn’t going to post this bar until tomorrow, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate alongside other chocophiles. Made in Brooklyn, NY by a chocolate maker originally from South Africa, shipped from Canada, using lúcuma (a subtropical fruit from South America) as a flavoring…yeah, I think that qualifies as “world” chocolate, don’t you?! 🙂

It’s funny that once you hear about something new, you discover it popping up all over. Was it hiding before then or do I now have a heightened awareness for the word?! That’s what it’s been like for me with lúcuma. Thanks to Josh Rubin from Chocexchange for suggesting this intriguing and unique bar! Since purchasing the bar, I’ve seen people in both the UK and Peru mentioning this fruit, but having a hard time describing the taste. One person said to me…you’ll have to taste it for yourself. Well, today is that day! You’re probably saying to yourself, “Tell us what it tastes like already!” Sorry, you’ll just have to wait in suspense for a little while longer, so continue reading! 😉

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In keeping with the “raw” aspect, the bars are wrapped in recycled brown Kraft paper printed with non-toxic, vegetable based ink. Fully unwrapping the outer packaging, you see a leaf + flower designs as a nod to nature.

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Fine & Raw uses low heat to keep the raw vitality and nutritional value of chocolate as a superfood. They also use coconut (palm) sugar instead of refined sweeteners. Using alternate sugars lets the true flavor of cacao to shine through without masking the taste.

I almost felt guilty opening the gold foil wrapper, since I knew I could never reproduce the precise origami-like folds.

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This is when I first encountered the enticing and exotic aroma of this bar. There was a soft (almost powdery) vanilla scent. They use whole ground vanilla, which I assume means the pod in addition to the seeds; that seems to add a new depth of flavor than I’ve experienced before.

The bar was comprised of 10 fairly thick (~10mm) rectangles that were almost square (about an inch in length). When I broke off a couple of pieces, it was then that I discovered that the bar wasn’t completely even. Instead of flat rectangles, these reminded me of trapezoids! Not sure if these pictures will show you what I mean, but I tried to capture it as best as possible.

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I assume this anomaly was unintentional. Maybe they were using a different mold than usual, since other pictures on their website show a bar with 5-6 elongated rectangles. That might explain the interesting swirl on the front of the bar.

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I also experienced that phenomenon when I removed my chocolates from the mold too soon.

Anyway, this is the moment you have been waiting for…

Upon biting into the chocolate morsel, I was so surprised to taste TOASTED MARSHMALLOW! Other sources say that lúcuma tastes like maple syrup or butterscotch, but it was definitely marshmallow for me! The chocolate didn’t melt easily in my mouth (I wonder if this was from the cacao butter), had a slightly gritty mouthfeel (I suppose they didn’t conch/refine this for long to keep things “raw”) and had a slight aftertaste (I wasn’t able to discover the country of origin for the cacao beans, so maybe this was the natural characteristic coming through).

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Overall, I really enjoyed this 67% dark chocolate; but don’t take my word for it, taste it for yourselves!

Happy World Chocolate day! How will YOU celebrate it?

To learn more about Fine & Raw’s mission to save the world through silliness and chocolate, go to: http://fineandraw.com/

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