chocolate world tour: Tanzania


73% cocoa, subtle fruitiness with a fine hint of vanilla
Ideal pairing: jasmine tea

We don't stock jasmine tea. It's a comforting scent, in that it reminds me of my family's quarterly trips to the nearest Asian food store 1.5 hours away. We'd come home with buko juice, dried mangoes, and at least 200 pounds of rice (as well as a few unsavory — at least to a picky preteen — items like durian and strange vegetables). But for unknown reasons, I don't enjoy tasting that pleasant jasmine scent. Go figure.

So when jasmine tea showed up as the ideal pairing for Tanzania, we were lazy and skipped a grocery run decided to go for a pure chocolate experience.

We first noticed a more pronounced butter flavor than previous chocolate tastings. The "subtle fruitiness" mentioned in the description came through with citrus tendencies. The chocolate was sweet (possibly the vanilla), but also developed a sharper and almost savory taste. It was subtle but pleasant. The bar had a nice snap to it without any chalkiness, and finished smooth in both flavor and texture.

Our friend Grant spent a summer in Tanzania a few years ago, and last summer he was kind enough to share with us his stories and photos. If secondhand experience serves me well, I'd say they managed to infuse the cocoa with the essence of their country. It's just the sort of chocolate I'd want to eat sitting on a white sand beach while watching boats skim over quintessential equatorial waters.

We, of course, had to settle for our living room and an online photo of Zanzibar.