3oz (85g) bar
Ingredients: Organic direct trade cacao beans (Dominican Republic), o. cane sugar, o. cocoa butter, o. vanilla beans
Corporate Info: Taza Chocolate is pretty lovely. The bar I'm holding comprises only organic ingredients, sources its cocoa beans using a variation on fair trade principles called Direct Trade, was made in the U.S., and is wrapped in recycled paper. What Taza produces is interesting too. Rather than being smooth throughout, the chocolate is made from stone-ground cocoa beans and not conched, both of which make for a gritty chocolate with discernible sugar crystals. In addition to bars, Taza produces Chocolate Mexicano Discs that are just sugar, cacao, and flavorings as well as baking chocolate and other items, including a neat Chocolate Mexicano Extract.
Smell: Rich and complex, beany, fresh. “Together”: Yes it's complex, but there's nothing that stands out as particular sharp or dominant.
Taste: The texture is dense with a fine graininess; it reminds me of homemade fudge—the crumbly kind, not the soft kind you often buy in tourist shops. Flavor is indeed fresh, with a pleasantly tart beginning that fades into a light bitterness, like a light red wine. To my taste the chocolate and sugar balance each other well, as more sugar would be too sweet and less would make it just sour. I'm not sure I'd want this tart flavor profile every day, and for what it's worth, ten minutes later my tongue still tastes bitter...but it's very good, and I'd like to try some of Taza's other products.
Conclusion: Taza Chocolate 70% Dark Stone Ground Organic Chocolate is tart and complex, with interesting flavor and texture. Worth trying.