It’s Saint Patrick’s Day today in the United States and what better a day to taste a handmade Irish chocolate bar!
Bean and Goose Chocolate is a sister-owned craft chocolate operation in Wexford, Ireland. Heeding a barista’s recommendation, the “Single Origin Irish Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs, Cocoa 76%,” was purchased. Would pure chocolatier craftmanship and a touch of Irish luck make this bar a winner?
The Bean and Goose bars’ packaging (seen also on other selections), is somewhat minimalist, with one washed color and bright white lettering (see picture above). The Irish Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs bar has a grey paper package, and upon turning over, reveals a white sticker with further information regarding the brand: “We are Karen and Natalie Keane, sisters and premium chocolate makers based in the Wexford countryside… We create chocolate that reflects contemporary Ireland, its flavours, its colours and its people.” Never having traveled to Ireland, this concept seemed exciting. What flavors would reveal themselves?
Unwrapping the package soon showed bright gold foil folded over a thin chocolate bar. The underside of this chocolate bar has a rough texture due to cocoa nibs and sea salt that otherwise dot and sprinkle the smooth surface. Turning it over, the top of the dark chocolate bar forms into tiny squares, a classic chocolate bar molding, if you please.
The first nibble gave way to a soft and hearty snap. The coloring is of the bar is ideal. No complaints.
First flavor to announce itself is definitely sea salt. There is a reason that this bar is adeptly named “Irish Sea Salt and Cocoa Nibs” and not “Cocoa Nibs and Irish Sea Salt;” the sea salt wins by a landslide, and then cocoa nibs come in a strong to finish the experience. The sea salt really did come as a surprise, much like a sudden but exhilarating spray of ocean water (obviously envisioned by Irish cliffs).
Otherwise, the chocolate provides a depth and array of interesting notes : nutty (peanut shells or skins), chocolate (baked brownie), a touch of citrus (lemon, perhaps), and finally, there is a savory element, offering a slight note of bacon. Fascinating combinations from one bar. True craftmanship, indeed. Next stop, the Bean and Goose bar with Wexford honey and spiced hazelnuts. Bean and Goose bars are approximately $9 USD.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Time Cupsoul 🍀