If you're looking for a sweet way to celebrate NYC Craft Beer Week, I suggest trying Raaka Chocolates' unusual Porter Bar ($8, or $7 via NYC Green Markets). It's made with hops, malt, and cocoa beans from Belize. If you're not familiar with Raaka, they use only unroasted cacao beans in their 100% organic and vegan chocolate bars.
The Porter Bar is labeled as 67% dark chocolate, but it tastes more dark and bitter than such a percentage would suggest. In one word, I'd describe the flavor as earthy, though the bar also has strong fruit notes and a distinct finish of molasses. It's unique, and I enjoyed it, but it's not for everyone.
More of a crowd pleaser is the 82% Bourbon Bar, made by aging cocoa nibs in bourbon casks and then using them for the chocolate. While still earthy, this bar is an order of magnitude smoother than the Porter, and it tastes more like a standard high-end extra-dark chocolate bar. The most prominent flavors from the bourbon aging are vanilla and slightly burnt caramel. I loved that even though the cacao content is above 80%, the chocolate isn't waxy.
During warmer months, I recommend purchasing your Raaka bars at local Greenmarkets. Harlem residents can buy them at the steadily expanding Morningdside Market. They're also available at 2 Beans and other locations.
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