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This bar looks amazing and it is perfectly tempered. The aroma surprised me the most: cigarette and tobacco with scents of sweet fruitness. On the palate, it starts with a rich chocolatey mouthfeel followed by harmonious maple sugar notes opening on the well balanced citrusy-like background. It showcases earthiness too like mushrooms (interesting) and again tobacco/cigarette finish/aftertaste. The mild acidity reminds me of coffee (aftertaste), green banana, unripe golden prunes. I am not entirely convinced of the texture. I expected something more creamy/buttery. Instead, it doesn't melt easily and it is sticky in the mouth. Think about chocolate made without cocoa butter.
The maple sugar is exceptional, and pairs beautifully with the chocolate flavor. Several of my Canadian friends grew up with a lot of maple sugar, and this bar brought them straight back home again. Everyone I've shared this bar with has instantly expressed an OMG reaction to the incredible, rich, and satisfying flavor of this bar. While a chocolate purist may not like the maple flavor, I think you have to respect the perfect execution of this bar.
As a big Goodnow fan and maple lover this is a massive win.
Collection title: All Chocolate Bars
Collection title: Cacao Origin: Ecuador
Collection title: Costa Esmeraldas
Collection description: Located in the coastal Ecuadorian province of Esmeraldas, this family-run estate has experienced a complete turnaround in recent years. After nearly a decade of their farm just scraping by through selling produce into the commodity market, in 2015 the Salazar family took on the project of completely revamping the 100-hectare farm. This included adding a complete post-harvest processing facility on-site, which is now managed by Freddy Salazar, the youngest sibling in the family. Management of the cacao orchards create over 40 full-time jobs within the local community in rural Esmeraldas, while the fine flavor neo-nacional beans they grow are now used by over a dozen chocolate companies around the world. Makers favor it for its strong base notes of cocoa, roasted nuts, and light fruitiness, with almost no astringency or bitterness.
Collection title: Dark Chocolate
Collection title: Esmeraldas, Ecuador
Collection description: Esmeraldas is the northernmost province of Ecuador, bordering both the Pacific Ocean and western Colombia. The province is notable for its strong Afro-Ecuadorian culture & seafood-based cuisine, as well as the beautiful beaches. Much of Esmeraldas’ population relies upon agriculture to make a living, with the most important crops being banana, tobacco, coffee, and cacao.
Collection title: Good Food Award Winning Chocolate
Collection title: Goodnow Farms
Collection description: Goodnow Farms chocolate is handcrafted in Massachusetts. All the cacao they use is ethically sourced from small farmers and producers that Tom and Monica have met during their travels throughout Mexico, Central and South America. The cacao is carefully stone ground, and conched in small batches. They also press their own cocoa butter for each bar. They admired the concept of single origin bars and capturing the different taste profiles, and uniqueness through each bar. They discovered their love for real craft chocolate after visiting a vintage shop in Los Angeles. Tom and Monica officially created Goodnow Farms in 2016 but have been crafting their creations since 2008. The pair works hard to engage with the communities where they receive their cacao from to ensure farmers are fairly compensated and practice sustainable farming.
Collection title: Nut Free Chocolate
Collection title: Plain Chocolate
Collection title: Shop Bar & Cocoa
Collection title: Soy Free Chocolate
Collection description: These chocolates do not list soy products as a main ingredient. Some of the chocolates say: "may contain traces of soy" where perhaps a very small amount may have come in contact with the food due to shared equipment or facility usage. Each product has icons that indicate whether a product is completely soy free or may contain traces.
Collection title: United States Chocolate Makers
Collection title: Vegan Chocolate