N is for Nori

There almost wasn’t an “N” post this week! :0 I knew exactly what I wanted, but was having trouble sourcing it. After successfully maintaining my own personal deadline schedule of posting one article per week for 39 weeks, would I now have to resort to recycling a review from a year ago?! Had I just followed my instincts and visited my hometown health food store earlier, I might have saved myself a week’s worth of angst, but then I would have missed my various phone conversations with Cole Meeker, founder and one of the owners of the The Great and Wonderful Sea of Change Trading Company. (Is it just me, or does the company name make you think of “The Wizard of Oz”?)

Until today, I didn’t do any research on the Northern California company, so I was excited to find this 5 minute video featuring Cole and his wife Anastasia explaining their passion for making food products with sea vegetation. I certainly didn’t know that there were 400+ kinds of edible seaweed in the ocean and that only about 3 of them were commonly eaten.

Introducing today’s bar…Wild Nori Crunch made with 70% unroasted, stone ground Ecuadorian cacao

Holding the outer packaging at an angle, you can better see and appreciate the spot UV anglerfish, with a sun or all-seeing eye coming out of its head as a lure. Opening the back flap, you’ll see a thank you message to those that were instrumental in getting this project funded in 2015 through an Indiegogo campaign.

Removing the slender rectangular bar from the heat sealed gold foil wrapper, you’ll see that the mold is comprised of 9 slightly textured, matte finish “batons” that are minimally marred by some air bubbles + chocolate dust at the top and bottom corners of the bar.

Taking a closer look at the bar, you can easily see dark flecks of the wild-harvested seaweed near the surface, though flipping the bar over shows just how the well dispersed they really are.

Breaking off one of the rectangles produced a brittle, crumbly snap that released an earthy and mineral-rich aroma.

Taking a bite, I’m reminded of the Middle Eastern sesame paste or nut-butter based snack halva in terms of the gritty crunch that is associated with stone ground cacao.

This is definitely a bar to be “chomped” rather than melted, unless you like having tiny mineralized flakes of seaweed stuck to your tongue and teeth afterwards! 😉

As an experiment, I used a knife to segment another piece from the bar just to hear the rasping “scritch” of the metal blade making contact with the chocolate and dried seaweed mixture. It certainly created a bit of a mess, but it was fascinating to see the delicate and translucent nori chunks apart from the chocolate itself.

I know what you’re thinking…seaweed and chocolate?! If you’ll recall, I wasn’t a big fan of the flavor back in April 2016. However, after a year of eating poke bowls garnished with furikake and enjoying a miso bar last week, I think my palate was better prepared for the flavor profile.

Lightly sweet from the coconut sugar and maple syrup, satisfyingly crunchy and lightly savory/vegetal in flavor, I encourage you to set aside your preconceptions and taste this for yourself. After reading about seaweed today, I’m really intrigued to try their Wild Dulse bar next…now to find it! 😉

In the words of fellow Instagrammer honeycreeperchocolate: “Wow, nori…you are certainly on an adventure!” – Yep, and loving every moment of it!

To learn more about Cole and Sea of Change, check out the “About Us” page on their website. If you’re not lucky enough to find their products in your local health food store, you can order online through their sea vegetable store: https://www.seaofchangetrading.com/sea-vegetable-store/

These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing this product.