Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fearless 70% Exploding Coconuts


2oz (56.7g) bar
Ingredients: Organic raw cacao, o. unrefined cane sugar, o. raw shredded coconut
7g sugar/28.35g serving (24.7% by wt.)

Corporate Info: [Copied from 1/26/13] Fearless was founded in 2006 in California, uses recycled paper for the outer boxes, and makes bean-to-bar chocolate with organic ingredients and direct trade cacao from specific plantations in Brazil, with a special focus on raw cacao. All of this may or may not mean anything to you, but I think I can safely say that Fearless is full of good intentions, part of what I'm seeing as a young cohort trying to bring chocolate into the modern age more thoughtfully, with an eye toward (or blatant focus on) sustainability and treating growers well. The small-company, bean-to-bar model is one way of doing it (contrast with Divine, for example), and it's a fine option. Good for them. Fearless is also notable for its aesthetic, a combination of earthy-crunchy (recycled-looking paper boxes) and super cute, as the font is friendly, the logo is a tiny elephant, and the mold embosses the elephant and a bunch of stars on the bars and takes a “bite” out of the corner of the bar. I'd argue that the cute-ification of the raw, organic message is a great way to go, taking what might otherwise be perceived as a solidly hippie company and making it more approachable. As of last September Fearless only produced five bars, and now there are seven, so look for more from Fearless in the future.

Today's Bar: More 70% raw cacao and unrefined sugar, plus shredded coconut. As I noted last week, the package has changed since I bought this bar, though this one already has the new winged elephant logo. Hm.

Appearance: Funny, the elephant imprinted on the bar itself has no wings...I wonder if the bars are different now. Anyhow, same red-orange color and slight gloss.

Smell: This one first reminded me of raisins, but when I remembered the sweetness of coconut, my mind rebranded the aroma as coconut's round, buttery-sweet smell, with the underlying warmth of cacao. Well-melded thus far.

Taste: This bar first hits my tongue as buttery and sweet, and then the sour-bitter rawness and the coconut's chewy texture kick in. The coconut pairs well with the chocolate in both flavor (rounded and subtly sweet to sour-bitter) and texture (chewy-crispy to thick), but I don't get a ton of coconut flavor. It adds good, buttery (third time I've used that word) complexity, and I'd like more of that.

Conclusion: Fearless 70% Exploding Coconuts pairs two contrasting elements well, but I'd like to taste more coconut in there.

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