I think I started something good when I bit into that recent Vosges bar. I got the Good Train Chocolate moving, and now we’re on a roll. After a brief layover in the doldrums of Chocolvania, we’ve stoked our engines. We’ve heated our boilers. We’ve left the station. We’ve chugga-lugga-lugged our way outta town. And today we’re heading for….
…Chocolate, that is.
Fearless Chocolate is an interesting animal, one of those flower power brands from San Francisco, California. Their products are “dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and [use] only mineral-rich unrefined whole sugars.” Oh, and they are 100% Kosher Ingredients in a Kosher Facility. Oh, and their end product is raw (or near-raw, depending on the batch), meaning their beans are unroasted, heated to under 118 degrees to preserve the “natural nutrients, marvelous minerals, and abundant antioxidants.” And oh yeah, they are certified USDA Organic.
Hence why the pseudo-co-op, wishes they were a co-op, but they’re definitely not a co-op, Natural Living Center here in Bangor carries Fearless Chocolate! Did you look at their website? That is so not the website of a hippie store – sorry, NLC.
So anyway, I was at this store that I despise for no reasons other than I miss my Minnesota co-op, and I hate their (the NLC’s) website. And lo and behold, what did my eyes see shortly after warily eying the chicken-cutlet styled textured vegetable protein??? Why, their chocolate selection was positively astonishing (for my present location, and given the more limited selection they’ve had in the past)! This means that, sadly, they will soon be getting more of my business. But it also means that I should give up my useless grudge already – everyone else likes them, why must I continue to adhere to my ingrained contrary gene? …Sorry, parents, that implies that one of you carries the contrary gene as well. Perhaps I should label it a “contrary disorder.” Picture time!
Digging into the 70% cacao Exploding Coconuts! bar, we find instructions on the inner wrapping warning me that:
I will eat eat eat eat Raw OgOooOoOOR
I will eat fearless Chocolate
I will eet FEARLESS CHOKOLATE
I eat RawRawRaW ooooorganic Chocolate
I will eeeeat RRRAAAAAA
I will eat FRLSS CHCLT…
etc. Now that I have my Arnold impressions [please note, this video is filled with expletives – that is Ahhhhnold’s way – but it is so delightfully explicit!] out of the way for the day (I will eeeeat RRRRAaawwWWW…. it’s nahht a tooohhmahhr), I can do as I’m told and eat eat eat some RawRawRaW chocolate.
This bar is very aromatic – it’s a mix of coconut and deep chocolatey scents wafting my way. Leaving the open bar nearby, I can continue to smell it until it actually becomes overpowering to me. Impressive what remains when the chocolate is RawRawRaw. The chocolate is a pleasing color with an amazing sheen to it. Small flakes of coconut show through the bar’s surface, dotting the darker chocolate with amber flecks. They are not visible from the bottom of the bar, but that side is not shiny; despite not seeing them here, a bite into the bar indicates that they are equally dispersed.
This chocolate is good. It’s dark, it’s bitter, and I taste more than coconut. It’s been some time since I’ve had a well-crafted dark chocolate bar, as I’ve been eating a fair amount of milk and borderline dark lately. Weak sauce, I know.
The chocolate has a terrific snap and with its lustrous sheen is very inviting. We feast.
When I first tasted this, I couldn’t pinpoint the flavors I was tasting. I couldn’t even sort out the coconut. That’s crazy talk though, because after translocating my taste buds to my brain and trying to think things through, coconut was an obvious component. But the taste that first struck me here, that I can’t think how to label? The closest thing I can think of is meaty, but not meaty as in a rack of ribs or a cured ham. Not smoky either. Meaty as in full and substantial. I wonder if this is a by-product of all the coconut – if the oil from the coconut creates a substantial and filling sort of taste. I want to keep using the word meaty, but senses warn me that this term may keep you from trying this bar. Don’t listen to that nonsense, because this is delicious.
And for those of you who are not a fan of the humble coconut…. wellllll. Hmm. I’ll throw out that I didn’t used to like coconut either, but now, here we are. It’s just you, me, and some exploding coconuts.
You came through for me this time, NLC. I previously thought Fearless Chocolates were unavailable to me here in Maine, and I was surprised and excited to find out how wrong I had been. I think this must be a recent development, as Fearless was only started in 2006, and their products were until recently only distributed by UNFI West. If you choose the Fearless route, know that they have four other varieties available to you: 75% Midnight, 70& Matcha Green Tea & Peppermynt, 70% Super Seeds (I almost bought this one, it will make its way home soon!), and 70% Sweet & Hot Hibiscus Ginger. That last one sounds really wow to me, what a combination of flavors. Unfortunately, I don’t think that was one of my options at the happy healthy people store here in town.
Whatchoo want, Fearless has got it:
Fearless Chocolate Co.
PO Box 77146
San Francisco, CA 94107
Let me know if you’ve tried that Sweet & Hot bar – I’m so mesmerized by the description of it, and I don’t even like ginger!
As an aside, I’m also mesmerized by the lovely miniature leaves that have appeared on the maple outside my window in recent days. Although I’ve preached this idea to you many times in recent months, it’s lovely to watch spring unfold. Enjoy the weekend!