These disks of Organic Stone Ground 70% Cacao Extra Dark Chocolate (what a mouthful!) caught my eye at Trader Joe’s. They looked suspiciously similar to Taza’s Mexicanos (previously reviewed here), and Trader Joe’s is known for unbranding and selling name-brand things at a discount.
The Trader Joe’s version was $3.99. Taza Mexicanos currently run just shy of $9 on Amazon but are only $4.50 on the Taza website. The size and shape of both versions are the same, and both contain two disks to a package.
Underneath the wrapper, the disks look pretty similar, with light wedge scoring that doesn’t quite reach the center. The Taza version is on my Flickr page, and the Trader Joe’s version is below.
The Trader Joe’s chocolate was described as “a traditional Mexican-style chocolate stone milled in small batches.” That’s a pretty good description of what Taza does.
Finally, the Trader Joe’s ingredients were just organic cocoa nibs and organic cane sugar. Looks just like Taza’s Cacao Puro to me. I’m going to go ahead and call it – they’re the same.
Mexican-style chocolate is a totally different texture sensation than American chocolates. The disks here snapped easily and cleanly along the scores, revealingly their granulated consistency.
The chocolate had a finely gritty texture that squeaked a little between my teeth but didn’t leave any sediment behind. It was sort of like what eating wet fine-grained sand is probably like, only far more delicious and pleasant.
It had an intoxicating woody scent. The flavors were cleanly sugary sweet and grassy with a fruity raisin flavor and ended with a slightly bitter/astringent cocoa bean finish.
With such simple ingredients, this was chocolate at its most pure! My only complaint was that the astringency lingered, so I kept breaking off more bits to try to wipe the astringency from my mouth. The disk disappeared more quickly that way!
The unadulterated flavors of this chocolate made it a great taste experience. An OM.