Taza Stone Ground Organic Chocolate, 80%

April 17th, 2009 by Rosa

Taza Chocolate made it onto my radar via my friends Justin and Nana, who highly recommended it. Unfortunately, because they’re a small artisan company, the chocolate isn’t that widely sold in stores, and shipping chocolate gets expensive, so I resigned myself to waiting until the next time I went home (probably after graduation) to try to track it down at an Austin Whole Foods.

Lucky for me, I found some at a local New Haven cheese shop, Caseus, when I popped into pick up some Vosges bars for my next Calhoun College chocolate tasting.  They had the 60%, 70%, and 80% bars, but I only bought the latter because, at around $8 a pop, they weren’t cheap (even if it was Calhoun’s money that I was ultimately spending).

Taza is notable because they’re one of the few U.S. chocolate makers that make their chocolate from bean to bar. They’re also special because the chocolate is stone-ground, which yielded an interesting texture. I found the unusual texture intriguing and novel and interesting.

It was quite grainy, almost crunchy, and the whole thing kind of explodes in a burst of grit after a few chews. Our Associate Master remarked that it would probably make her 5 year-old son cry. Another taster likened the experience to eating sand. I thought the latter characterization was a bit of a stretch, as the grit wasn’t that rough, and I’d happily eat sand if it tasted as good at the Taza bar did.

The bar smells kind of acrid and plasticy – not exactly appetizing. Surprisingly enough, however, it tastes nothing like it smells. It’s actually quite bright and fruity, enjoyably so. Overall, I’d give the bar an OM. I took home the remainder of the bar, and I couldn’t stop popping the pieces because they were so texturally entertaining. I’d give it a higher rating if it weren’t so pricy, but for an organic, artisinal product, you definitely do get whatyou pay for.

This entry was posted onFriday, April 17th, 2009 at 8:00 am and is filed under chocolate, OM, organic, review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 responses about “Taza Stone Ground Organic Chocolate, 80%”

  1. Nana said:

    Hm, yes, it is expensive. I’m sorry you couldn’t afford to try them all (I got mine for free at a tasting party). I recall that the 80% bar wasn’t tremendously distinct from other 80% dark chocolate I’ve had, and I don’t particularly like it. Too bitter. But the 60% was unbelievable. Uniquely fruity and sweet, and the only dark I’ve ever had I wanted more of. And seriously wanted. Like, was going to burgle the classroom of the teacher who sponsored the tasting. Still might.

    I hope some time you get to try their round traditional Mexican chocolates. The texture is even more amazing. If you have to pick, I’d say the Vanilla and the Chili are best, followed by Salty Almond and Cinnamon.

  2. Nana said:

    Also, I suppose some people are bound to hate that texture, but I adored it. It was like the difference between fresh corn and canned corn, or fresh tuna and canned tuna. It was the first time I had tasted a chocolate bar that felt like it started life as a plant, rather than having been born out of factory chemical compounds and wax.

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