Usually I’m behind on sharing these Raaka selections and while I’m technically late on this one since it’s for November, I’m only late by a couple of days. There’s some improvement 🙂 The reason why I struggle to stay on top of these Raaka selections is that I have a large stash of chocolate I need to work my way through and that takes time and effort. I’m so glad for my coworkers being there to help finish off any bars I can’t demolish because it’s a LOT of chocolate for one person.
Anyways, what makes me super excited for trying November’s selection is that the Ginger Snap bar is included and it sounded amazing! In fact, all of the flavors sound delicious and perfect for the fall season and weather. Thank goodness it’s now getting cool enough to ship chocolate with no melting!
The Cranberry Orange bar is quintessential for Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s made with Reserva Zorzal Dominican Republic cacao. The description for this bar mentions orange peel being steeped in the cocoa butter, which is then mixed with the Dominican Republic cacao and cranberry powder. Since Dominican cacao is usually naturally fruity, you know it will pair nicely with the orange and cranberry flavors. The navel orange piece on the back of the bar is a very nice touch!
There was a strong fruity and chocolatey scent from this bar. I made sure my first piece included part of the dried orange. Tartness and a strong mixture of citrus with cranberry flavors flooded over my tasted buds. It was like a punch in the face of fruitiness at first, but as my bite melted the cranberry flavor subsided and orange remained dominant. The flavor combination made me reminisce on how every night before Thanksgiving as we’re baking and cooking up dishes for the next day, we’d enjoy mulled wine prepared with cranberries and chunks of citrus. The end of my bite finished with a subtle chocolatey flavor.
I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of caramel and apple combinations. I’m reminded of when I was much younger and tried a caramel covered apple for the first time. I didn’t like how the caramel would get stuck all over my teeth and made it hard to eat the apple. But this combination of caramelized sugar with apple flavoring sounds delicious! The description for this bar mentions Peruvian cacao nibs being steamed over apple cider before being ground with caramelized sugar.
I could smell caramel and applee, but I first tasted apple followed by subtle caramel flavor. The texture was a little grittier than the smooth cranberry orange bar, but I didn’t mind that. Throughout my whole bite, apple was the dominant flavor while caramel quietly stayed in the background. Since I didn’t get to enjoy my own jug of apple cider this past fall, I think this bar made up for that loss 🙂
We finally come to the ginger snap bar, which I’ve been looking forward to the most! Ginger snaps were my dad’s favorite cookies for the longest time before he had to start watching his sugar intake, but I always think of him whenever I see them. The description for this bar mentions the Tanzanian cacao nibs being steamed over a house made ginger tea and steeping ginger in the cocoa butter. Spices like nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon with brown sugar are also in the chocolate, though the brown sugar is obviously layered on the back of the bar.
The bar smelled very much like a ginger snap cookie with a strong ginger scent. The flavor of ginger was very present, but not overwhelming. The brown sugar helped prevent the sharpness of ginger from being overpowering. As my bite melted, I was able to slowly taste the spice mixture. The texture was very smooth after the brown sugar crystals dissolved. One of my coworkers tried these bars as well and said they liked the ginger snap out of the three bars the best.
I personally would pick the cranberry orange though I also enjoyed the caramel apple and ginger snap bars. Even though the fruitiness of the cranberry and orange flavors was initially strong, I liked the middle part of savoring where I was reminded of mulled wine.
Raaka: Made in Brooklyn, NY