Based in Dubai, Mirzam makes milk, dark, single-origin and inclusion bars with Middle Eastern inspired ingredients like rose, coffee, cardamon, dates, fennel, pistachio, orange blossom, palm sugar, saffron, anise, and more!
Tanzania Kokoa Kamili 72%
Aroma: fennel, licorice, rich chocolate, soft red fruit
Flavor: Creamy vanilla, marshmallow, mild butterfat, cookie/toasted starch. Good classic Tanzania red fruit flavors plus more complex brown fruit - dark chocolate cherry, raisin, port, fig cookie. Pleasant soil/mineral/woodiness. Overall good chocolate flavors, no bitterness, really nice overall balance. Also a distinct fennel flavor – it’s not strong but it’s such a specific clear flavor that I wonder if there was accidental flavor transfer because they make a bar with fennel as well and I have never tasted a bar with a fennel note that distinct. Either way it is soft enough that it doesn’t detract much from the chocolate itself.
Batch info: Batch no. TZ002; Best by March 2020
Papua New Guinea 72%
Aroma: very mushroomy, smoky, leather, dried shiitake mushrooms
Flavor: Beautifully balanced funk. The initial flavors are earthy and almost gamey – soft wood, leather, a little bit of the grassy flavor of mutton or game meat, but distinctly not the over-fermented hammy flavor, just a pleasant rich savoriness. Also present are notes of dry soil, campfire, and mushroom, which shift to a pleasant sweetness as it melts, with soft pops of caramel and red fruit. All well-balanced, so the earthy/leather flavors come across as complexity, not defects.
Recommendation: Recommended. Overall, this is a really nice bar. It’s unusual, smoky, and mushroomy, but I think that’s pretty much expected with Papua New Guinea beans, and they’ve done it well. This would be incredible in savory recipes that call for dark chocolate - beef stew, chili, mole - and some people will probably love it as it is. Two of our tasters described it as “complex in a good way,” and “a really interesting bar.” For others, it may not become a go-to snacking bar, but the quality of the process and the naturally unique funky character of this origin make it worth trying. As such, it would be an awesome bar to include in a tasting to showcase the wide range of possible flavors found in chocolate.
Batch info: P: 09/19; E: 03/20; PN 011