Sunday, May 24, 2009

Theo: Ghana

Ask and you shall receive! I know -- no one asked, but I've felt guilty for avoiding single origin chocolates when I am supposed to be some sort of serious chocolate eater. It's hard because when I go to Whole Foods, or Eden Gourmet, or whatever health food store I go to, I am so enticed by the bars that have delicious things mixed in. I spend about a week with each bar of chocolate, so I tend to get tired of it unless it's infused with exciting things. But I promised a single origin, so here goes:

Theo: Ghana
Cocoa content: 84%
Notable ingredients: n/a
Origin: Ghana

Single origin means that the beans were harvested from only one region -- and sometimes one farm. Most bars that I've blogged about thus far are "blends," which means that they're made from beans from a variety of different regions, blended to the taste of the maker. Most bars are blends just because the maker isn't so serious about chocolate, or isn't choosing to emphasize the artisanal process of single origin harvesting -- but some chocolatiers do blends because they're really good at it, and they want to create a product that incorporates the best of different types of beans. Bernard Castelain is a good example: his Extreme, Intense, and Tradition are all good blended bars made from American, South American, and African beans. 

Single origin is interesting, though, because there are big differences between beans grown in different climates. Blah, blah, blah. Anyway, this bar by Theo is made from beans from a number of farms in the Kumasi region of Ghana. It has a loud, pleasing snap to it, and it is completely free of air bubbles and imperfections. 

This bar was entirely distinct in a way that I think blended bars aren't -- I mean to say that it had a totally coherent flavor profile; it tasted floral and woody -- almost a little bit acidic. Fruity. It also was incredibly lightweight, probably because there was virtually no added sugar or cocoa butter. It didn't melt and coat my tongue -- it was almost chalky. So, on the one hand I thought this bar achieved what a single origin bar is supposed to, and on the other hand it didn't taste nearly as delicious as, say, Lindt: Wafer. Maybe that it obvious. I will no longer be ashamed to indulge in excessively sweet blended chocolate, whimsical in concept and busy with mix-ins. I give this bar a B.


  1. when you say you spend a week with a chocolate, do you mean you nuse one chocolate bar the whole week long? Girl, that's insane. The only redeeming thing is your concession to sweetness. xo

  2. That is what it means! But if I'm not loving it I'll pass it of to my parents or Michael after a few days..