Saturday, August 4, 2012

Green & Black's Maya Gold


3.5oz (100g) bar
Ingredients: Organic fair trade chocolate, oft. raw cane sugar, oft. cocoa butter, soy lecithin, orange and spice flavor, oft. vanilla, o. whole milk powder
18g sugar/40g serving (45% by wt.)

Corporate Info: Check out this Brand Overview from March.

Today's Bar: Maya Gold is Green & Black's nod to “Mexican” or otherwise “Central American”-themed chocolate flavorings. Often that's a mix of hot chile and cinnamon, maybe pepper and/or vanilla; here it's (according to the website) a non-hot combo of orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, and they're claiming inspiration from the Maya of southern Belize.

Appearance: Green & Black's usual semi-glossy chocolate in a lightly scored mold. Color is kind of flat looking, with a purplish undertone.

Smell: Well-incorporated sweetness and light spice; the nutmeg stands out along with what I'm guessing is orange oil rather than some other orange extract.

Taste: I've had Maya Gold before and liked it, as it conforms to Green & Black's standard: Thoroughly flavored, balanced, not challenging. Texture is thick and rich. Flavor is sweet (it's only 55% cacao) but entirely appropriate to the chocolate here, as while it does have bitter and sour tones, they're all curve, no edge. Similarly, the spices are complex but blend entirely. Think of, say, a good oatmeal cookie or pumpkin pie, which should taste redolent of autumnal spices rather than separate cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, and so on—they just have an aura of warmth that lingers pleasantly, in this case for a rather long time. I do think the nutmeg is standing out and perhaps the orange (we're not talking citrus here, but rather heady, aromatic orange oil), whereas I don't get a lot of cinnamon, and to my taste buds vanilla is more backup than headliner. So some flavors are louder than others, but they harmonize well.

Conclusion: Green & Black's Maya Gold isn't challenging, but as an everyday flavored chocolate its spice and balance excels.

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