H is for Hemp Seeds

Are you trying to eat healthy and include “super foods” in your diet? Well, here is a chocolate bar that includes three different super foods: goji berries, cacao nibs and hemp seeds (since it’s “H” week on Eating the Chocolate Alphabet)!

Don’t worry, I won’t go into the health benefits or discuss super foods here since you can conduct your own research on the topic. I just want to introduce you to one of the most photogenic chocolate bars that I’ve seen in a while (and I’ve seen quite a few as part of this inclusion project)!

I don’t know about you, but my eye is immediately drawn to the lightly shriveled elongated reddish orange goji berries and the generous sprinkling of tiny white and greenish hemp seeds. The cracked cacao nibs almost blend into the 72% Dominican Republic dark chocolate base that you might forget they are there until you take that first crunchy bite!

But, let’s start from the beginning of the tasting process! If you’ve been following along for a while, you’ll know that I like using an “EAT” approach: E for exterior (which refers to the packaging), A for aroma and appearance and T for taste 🙂

Chequessett Chocolate is the third bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Massachusetts (Taza was the first & Rogue was the second). Self-taught co-founders, Katherine Reed and Josiah Mayo, handcraft their minimally processed chocolate bars in small batches in a workshop on Cape Cod, at a shop location that once stood abandoned for two years, but now thrives as a café, production room and office. From what I’ve seen on their website, each of the small button and string tie dark blue envelopes sport a distinctive map motif with silver lines and numbers.

After reading that Josiah had 20+ years’ experience working in commercial fishing, I figured that these were topographical maps of some sort, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out the “proper” term to describe them. After several fruitless Google image searches, I finally broke down and called Chequessett to get the information “from the source.” Thanks for confirming my hunch that these were bathymetric maps that show the shape, size and distribution of underwater features as well as the terrain and contours of the ocean floor.

Removing the foil wrapped bar from the outer packaging & peeling back the folds, the inclusion side of the bar “greeted” me with a nutty, roasted aroma. I was almost afraid to turn the bar over for fear of dropping ingredients everywhere, but amazingly everything stayed pretty well-adhered to the 20-rectangle chocolate bar (I’d love to learn the technique that was used to achieve this)!

The “top” side of the bar was a reddish brown color and only had some slight scuffing from the transit to Southern California (I had purchased this bar after Thanksgiving last year to take advantage of their free shipping “Black Friday” deal & also indulged myself in an order of caramel cashew turtles with Wellfleet sea salt…which were DELICIOUS, by the way! Still kicking myself for not buying more than one container!)

When segmenting rectangles from the main bar, there was a soft snap since the chewy, lightly sweet goji berries would hang on to their spot tenaciously and then tear to reveal the tiny seeds hidden inside.

The shelled hemp seeds (sometimes called hemp “hearts”) are softer and nutty, though I’m not sure why some have a greenish tinge to them. With all this texture to the bar, it was pretty much impossible for me to “melt” a piece in my mouth…I made several valiant attempts to do so, but always succumbed to “chomping” after 15-20 seconds 😉 I wanted to isolate the chocolate by itself, so I tried slicing off the raised “hump” from the top side of several rectangles. Even though it was very messy to do so (wish I knew a better way of doing this), now I could taste the citrusy notes of the evaporated cane juice sweetened chocolate.

It will come as no surprise that this bar is almost gone now, so I’ll leave you with this one parting photo:

You can bet that the Blueberry Ginger or Cranberry bars will be next on my wish list!! Or maybe the Farrago confection, though the Mexican hot chocolate mix is calling to me too 🙂

To learn more about Chequessett Chocolate & their Cape Cod products, please visit: http://www.chequessettchocolate.com/