Friday, January 2, 2015

Fruition Chocolate: It's all about the Brown Butter, Flor de Sal and Rustic Crunch

I decided to start the New Year by experiencing some 'firsts'.  I wanted to taste chocolate that I have never tried before, and learn about more bean-to-bar chocolate makers.  Fruition Chocolate is one of those chocolate makers. I figured yesterday - the first day of 2015 - was the perfect time to taste the craft bars that I ordered just before Christmas.

Fruition offers a unique mix of bean-to-bar chocolate flavours, the most unique being Fruition's Milk Chocolate 'Brown Butter' bar. It has that quality that all milk chocolate has, where your mouth waters for more after just one piece. And yet it is not super sweet, with its rich 43% cocoa solids. The 'browned butter' is churned at a farm local to Fruition (Shokan, New York) and adds a hint of butter flavour that gives the bar more of a melt-in-your mouth quality and a milk chocolate truffle-like taste.

Fruition's 56% Dark-Milk with Flor de Sal (sea salt) chocolate bar was very tangy, and definitely not sweet. The lack of sweetness is partially due to the addition of salt. I find dark-milk chocolate (above 50% cocoa solids) can be confusing on the palette at times, and I am often left wanting something more bitter, or something sweeter. If you have ever made a dark chocolate glaze made with sour cream, you will know what I mean when I say that it tastes a little like that. It is certainly a savoury treat, and it grew on me with every piece that I ate.

The final bar that I tasted was Fruition's 70% Rustic Crunch, a unique combination of coarsely stone ground dark chocolate, cinnamon and small, but chunky, cocoa nibs. The result is a slightly cinnamon-sugar style crunch with an after taste of chocolate and bitter cocoa, as you chew the nibs long after the chocolate has melted away. I really enjoyed this bar.

I am really looking forward to trying Fruition's Hispaniola 68% chocolate bar, simply because I love the taste of chocolate made from cocoa beans grown in the Dominican Republic. Also, I'd like to try their Maranon 76% bar made with Peruvian Nacional beans and only two ingredients: cocoa beans and organic cane sugar - a chocolate meant for tasting!

Here are the package details from the three Fruition Chocolate bars that I tasted this week:

Chocolate Maker:
Fruition Chocolate (Shokan, NY)

Brown Butter Milk Chocolate, 43% cocoa solids, 60g/2.12 oz
Ingredients: can sugar*, cocoa butter, cocoa beans*, nonfat milk powder, butter, vanilla beans* 
*organic.  Contains milk. May contain traces of nuts.

Rustic Crunch, 70% cocoa solids, 60g/2.12oz
Cocoa beans, cane sugar*, cocoa butter, vanilla beans*, cinnamon
*organic.  May contain traces of nuts and milk.

Dark Milk with Flor de Sal, 56% cocoa solids, 60g/2.12oz
Ingredients: Cocoa beans*, cane sugar*, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, salt, vanilla beans*
Contains milk. May contain traces of nuts.