Guest Chocablogger Michael Edwards is back with another Canadian offering…
To be honest, I wasn’t even really expecting to find anything out of the ordinary in the chocolate aisle during a quick stop at the mall, but there just happened to be a few unfamiliar wrappers lurking among the usual suspects. And better still, it was on sale! Unexpected sale chocolate is the best. So I picked some up without paying too much attention because at $1.50 a bar, I felt obligated to introduce myself to Terra Nostra’s Intense Dark.
Terra Nostra is a company who take their chocolate seriously. The wrapper is impressively annotated with the kind of information that a company who takes their chocolate seriously would like to share. Everything from the countries of origin – in this case, Equador, Trinidad and Peru – through to some flavour notes to help out the novice. And just in case you might not be able to eat chocolate that hasn’t been conched for at least 20 hours, it even states that this particular brand has been given a thorough conching for 22 hours.
As the name implies, this has a nice high percentage – 73% Cacao and has a USDA Organic stamp right on the front. Despite that, the first aroma isn’t harsh at all, nor particularly special and doesn’t do much to hint at the intense flavour that comes with the first bite.
This is a rather lovely bar that doesn’t quite hit all the notes that the wrapper suggests (there’s plenty of currant but not too much leather…), but there’s a wonderfully rich, earthiness that sticks around for a long time afterwards. A very clean, deep chocolate.
The most impressive thing is just how smooth the whole experience is. 73% without much in the way of bitterness is quite a feat. Personally, I do kind of like the slight grittiness that comes with some organic chocolates (like in the very early days of Maya Gold. Such happy memories…) but this really has won me over. Apparently they add some extra cocoa butter to the chocolate for this precise reason and it really does work. Yum.
It turns out that Terra Nostra are a Canadian company based in Vancouver and their website lists some other possibly delicious bars such as Pomegranate Truffle, Goji Berry with Pink Himalayan Mineral Salt and Robust Dark Raisins & Pecans. In addition to their organic bars, they also offer some rice milk bars for the vegan chocoholics out there, but I think I’ll stick with the dark yummy stuff.