INFUSED IN 60% DARK MILK CHOCOLATE
Ingredients: organic cacao beans, organic sugar, whole (dried) milk, coffee, natural caramel flavor, Murray River salt.
Ethically Traded - Organically Grown Cacao - Non Gmo - Gluten Free - Nut Free - Compostable Packaging
Do you know Dar Chocolate? If not, let me present to you Gila and Joel, a husband and wife who make handcrafted chocolate in Denver, Colorado.
Joel is originally a film producer. Meanwhile, Gila is a visual artist and a creative dancer. In 2014 they left their country of origin in the Middle East to spend 18 months in Costa Rica where they discovered for the first time an unknown superfood, cacao beans, on the beaches of Nosara. Extremely curious about it, they decided to learn how to make craft chocolate and the difference between each origin/variety. At the time, Paul Johnson of Caribeans Chocolate was their teacher. In 2016 they moved to Colorado where they opened their chocolate factory. About the business name, they were inspired by Joel`s Yemeni roots:
in Arabic DAR means HOUSE;
in Hebrew "TO DO WELL" and also "MOTHER OF PEARL";
in Spanish "TO GIVE";
in Polish "GIFT".
One thing worth noting right here is the original Gila creative contribution to each bar. Every packaging contains a different BloomArt because she finds compelling the bloom-effect* on big blocks of un-temperate chocolate. She told me:
I dive into a visual exploration to discover figurative imagery. Coming from the world of Visual Art, I have a keen eye for shape. The images we can discover are endless, and if you stare at it long enough, you will see some too! In every bar, we feature a different and amazing image of BloomArt showcasing the mysterious aspect of nature.
The BloomArt #18 of this inclusion bar represents a Bird Emerging From a Seashell.
All our chocolates are handcrafted and each bar receives our full attention. Like all handmade products, some bars may appear "imperfect", but they are all equally delicious! This dark milk chocolate is made with minimum ingredients, infused with coffee and a caramel aroma, sprinkled with River Salt flakes.
Now as for this dark-milk inclusion, I am positively surprised because, believe it or not, and no matter the type of chocolate, salt represents a complex ingredient.
Usually, I pay extra attention the first time I discover a new maker but in this case, I was hyper-focused on every detail. Especially the combination of chocolate, milk, coffee, caramel, and salt.
Nice snap. Caramel mocha voluptuous aroma. Creamy and rich mouthfeel. On the palate, it actually reproduces the nose profile furthermore with the titillating savory notes and a touch of entirely welcome crunchiness. I believe the caramel aroma and Murray River Salt Flakes make it distinctive, satisfyingly taffy, and thematically 100% successful.
Side note: the salt is unevenly distributed. Sometimes highly concentrated, sometimes absent. I would say, overall, the experience was instructive. A good way to start!
Thank you so much to this couple for gifting this bar.
*Bloom is a natural occurrence in chocolate, formed by crystallized fat molecules of the cacao butter. Every new batch of chocolate is first poured into a large block called Couverture. Once hardened, fat bloom appears as white particles in the partially tempered chocolate, creating curiously evocative forms on the surface.