Antioxidants…flavonoids…trace minerals. We hear these words bandied about every day, but do you really know much about them? (yeah, me neither!) So, with inspiration from Undone Chocolate, I decided to finally look up the meaning of those words today. Had my biology and chemistry teachers associated these terms with chocolate, I just might have paid more attention in high school!
Adam Kavalier (co-founder and CEO of Undone Chocolate) started off in phytochemistry (a fancy name for studying the chemistry of plants) with a postdoc research project on the flavonoids found in the hop plant and how those properties might assist in treating different forms of cancer. During his research, Theobroma Cacao (the scientific name for the cocoa plant) also attracted his attention since it too is a major producer of flavonoids and is rich in antioxidants. His knowledge of plant biology and chemistry have been instrumental in making chocolates that are both healthy and flavorful. To read more about his unusual journey from scientist to food entrepreneur, check out this article.
I think I first heard about Undone Chocolate from a fellow Instagrammer & chocolate blogger when she wrote a series of posts featuring local Washington, DC chocolate makers. Then, when I discovered that Undone was available at the same place as another chocolate that was featured earlier in the Eating the Chocolate Alphabet series, I knew fate had intervened so I could taste this bean-to-bar chocolate for myself too!
One of the first things that you see on the packaging is what looks like a heart monitor reading within an enlarged teardrop (which sort of reminds me of graphics seen on a blood donation poster).
Both of these are health-related images, which tie into to the information on the back of the package touting the benefits of eating this particular chocolate bar.
While I’m glad that their new packaging now lists the country of origin of the chocolate + a batch number, as well as de-emphasizes “two ingredient chocolate” (since this one was actually three ingredients: cacao, sugar & Himalayan pink salt), I miss the single word chocolate bar name that was color coordinated with the rest of the outer packaging.
Slipping the foil wrapped bar from the paper sleeve, you could already see that the inclusion side had left indentations.
Removing the bar from the foil, the 12-rectangle bar showed a little scuffing and small air bubbles marring the dull matte finish.
Himalayan pink salt was a sparsely sprinkled over the bar on the inclusion side. Besides, a little goes a long way in terms of salt…don’t you agree?
Though the photo below might not show it well, there were squiggle lines under the salt that made me think of a fish kissing a small dog with raised ears (I know, I know…I have a very over-active imagination!) FYI – I changed the exposure/lighting to bring out this pareidolia better.
The waxed foil wrapper had certainly done its job well while this bar was being stored in my wine fridge…I know this because the inclusion side started deliquescing before my eyes while photos were being taken.
Since it rained over the weekend, there was higher-than-normal humidity, so the salt started melting/dissolving (some would say “weeping” or “sweating”) by absorbing the moisture in the air. Until today, I didn’t know that the verb form for this phenomenon is “to deliquesce”…you can start using it to impress your friends too! 😉
This bar had a nice sharp snap when being segmented and imparted an earthy, roasted aroma. I noticed a slightly gritty mouthfeel and the portion didn’t melt very easily in the mouth. To me, the aftertaste was a bit chalky and lingered in the mouth for a while. However, when I chomped on a piece that had more of the crunchy salt, the flavor of the chocolate became fruity (I assume this bar was made with beans from the Dominican Republic, where beans are known to be naturally citrusy).
Oh, and those terms that I started the article off with? Well, antioxidants prevent or delay some types of cell damage such as that associated with cancer. Since I’m not a scientist, I don’t want to explain them inaccurately…so I recommend you do some research too! It will be well worth your while to learn about the health benefits of eating chocolate!
To learn more about Undone Chocolates, check out: http://www.undonechocolate.com/