Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Taza: Cacao Puro

This post doubles as a chocolate bar review and an event review -- the event being the UnFancy Food Show, which took place in Gowanus this past weekend. Organic, single-origin cocoa ground in traditional Mexican stone mills? Sounds pretty fancy to me, readers, but that's just one chocolate knower's opinion. Anyway, the fact that this bar is getting reviewed this week means it won out over several other, more local chocolate purveyors. More on that below.

Taza: Cacao Puro
Cocoa content: 55%
Notable ingredients: NONE!*
Origin: Dominican Republic

*So, why the big deal about none of the ingredients being notable? Really, the ingredients are kind of notable compared to most ingredients found in unfancy -- I mean literally unfancy -- chocolate bars; the beans are single origin Dominican, and ground only twice in a stone mill as opposed to a steel refiner. And the sugar is real cane sugar -- no relation whatsoever to corn. But.. that's it. This bar has only two ingredients. "The purest expression of our chocolate," says Taza's website. Glad to have known you so intimately!

Taza is a chocolate maker based in Somerville, MA, which is right near my hometown. As it happens, the guy who was working at the Taza booth was from Arlington, MA, and we had a nice little conversation about that. He encouraged me to try their special edition Chiapan bar, which was excellent -- but this blogger doesn't fuck with $9 treats, so I opted instead for a little disc of the Cacao Puro, at $4 a pop.

Cacao Puro is better than expected given that it is not cut with butter fat (one of my favorite things.) It's nice and sweet and the chocolate itself has a great flavor -- maybe not "wine-like," as the site purports, but nicely nutty and rich. Most Dominican beans are. The thing that irks me is the stone mill. I find the consistency of stone-milled chocolate too grainy, and insufficiently melty. This didn't interfere with my ability to enjoy the bar to the same extent that the Almond bar did, but still I prefer something a little creamier and neater.

I told you I was going to kvetch about the other chocolate makers represented at the UnFancy Food Show. Fine and Raw is -- sorry -- kind of nasty, and Nunu doesn't make chocolate bars (get with it!) Plus Taza had the Eastern MA connection appeal, and that's what I had to go with. The Food Show itself was really fun -- lots of wonderful pickled vegetables and homemade cheese and the best bloody Mary mix ever.

Interesting concept, adorable packaging, noble origins, but this bar gets a B.

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