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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Chuao Caracas - a dark chocolate with nuts to satisfy the snacker in you
So when I looked in my chocolate cabinet today, I found the "Caracas" bar by Chuao Chocolatier, which is a 100 gram dark chocolate bar with whole almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. Since it wasn't too bitter, and one of my recent snack cravings has been nuts, I thought it was perfect for the snacker in me.
I shared this chocolate bar with my husband (a rare occurrence). My husband, who is a milk chocolate eater through and through, actually really liked this chocolate bar. I think the sweetness of the 60% cacao chocolate was just right for even a milk chocolate lover. It was also just right for me. I initially found it a bit sweet, but the whole nuts in this Chuao bar appealed to my need to snack on something crunchy.
It had a nice crunch and good flavour from the toasted almonds and hazelnuts. I did not really notice the pistachios, but I am sure they were there. In fact, I ate half the bar at once, which I normally try not to do, since I think 50 grams of chocolate in one sitting can be a bit too much sometimes. Now do NOT get me wrong, I am not saying 50 grams of chocolate is too much to eat in one day, just at one particular moment in the day.
Overall, there was no real flavour to the chocolate itself, just cocoa and a hint of vanilla, with a high quality chocolate chip-style bitter sweetness.
I thought the packaging was appealing and in fact, stood out among the other chocolate bars in my chocolate stash, but my husband did not like the packaging. Funny, I guess we just have a different idea of what chocolate packaging should look like. Dark browns and earthy tones are the wrappers that I gravitate to when buying chocolate. I have a feeling that my husband likes the bright colours (yellows, oranges, etc.) of the chocolate bars that he grew up with, which are likely Hershey's, Mars, Oh Henry, etc.
One last and cool point about this chocolate bar: Chuao is dedicated to using Venezuelan cacao. In fact, they make a very specific statement on their packaging in regards to Venezuela and the importance of preservation of the genetic integrity of cacao beans and "building a sustainable future for cacao". Venezuela is known for producing quality cacao, and I like that this company has dedicated themselves to a specific origin of chocolate. It essentially allows them to become experts in one bean source, so they can maximize the flavour of those beans that they use.
I bought this chocolate bar somewhere in the United States last month, but cannot recall where (it was either in Las Vegas or in an airport in Chicago or Newark). However, the Chuao website has a locator to help you find a retailer near you. Here are further package details (i.e ingredients, manufacturer) from the chocolate bar that I "snacked" on today:
CHUAO Chocolatier Caracas (Dark Chocolate Bar wtih Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pistachios), 60% cacao, 100 g (3.5 oz)
Manufactured by: Chuao Chocolatier, Carlsbad, CA (USA)
Ingredients: Premium dark chocolate (60% cacao, sugar, cacao butter, soy lecithin (as an emulsifier), natural vanilla), pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts. Non GMO Ingredients. Contains: Nuts, Soy. Manufactured in a facility that uses tree nuts, milk and wheat in other products.