Showing posts with label Davao. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Davao. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Chocolate review: Auro 42% Milk Chocolate

The 3 bars of Auro Chocolate we purchased includes this milk chocolate that claims to have 42% cacao content. It is not a dark chocolate but we wanted to check how their milk chocolates tasted. The cacao content also suggested that this won't be your typical milk chocolate that tend to be on the sweet and creamy side.

Auro chocolate's 42% milk chocolate - proudly Made in Davao, Philippines
Details on the chocolate at the back of the box
Nutrition information and Auro's story and contact information

This is a very good milk chocolate and if you don't really look at the label, you may assume it to be a dark chocolate that's closer to the 30 to 50% cacao content (this is a milk chocolate with 42% minimum cocoa solids). A good comparison is with Meiji Black, which is labeled as a dark chocolate but is not as bitter as how people would expect from those with higher cacao content. The bar retailed for 265 pesos (~4.91 USD) and I must say that its worth it for those who are quite particular with their chocolates. The only thing that probably will deter you from getting one is if you really enjoy your Meiji Black and realize you can get 4 or 5 bars for the amount of money you would spend on this Auro bar. :)


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Chocolate review: Auro 77% Dark Chocolate

Another Auro bar we got is this 77% dark chocolate, which we thought was as smooth as a bitter chocolate could be. Chocolates >70% tend to have a more bitter taste to them (matapang na at lasang-lasa ang cacao).

Auro chocolate's 77% dark chocolate
Details on the chocolate including the price tag is here.
Close-up of the nutrition information

This bar retailed for only 200 pesos (about 3.70 USD) so we were actually surprised about the difference in prices with the 55% dark chocolate bar. The shopkeeper couldn't explain it but I can only guess that perhaps this wasn't popular with their customers as they probably thought 77% dark chocolate meant it was too bitter to be enjoyed. They are wrong and are missing out on this chocolate that's only leaning towards bitterness (more a hint rather than absolute). It would be perfect with wine or ice cream but is okay as a standalone after meal treat to relieve yourself some of the after taste of savory food (pangtanggal ng umay).

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Chocolate review: Auro 55% Dark Chocolate

We spotted the large bar version of this chocolate at a store that's mainly for baking supplies. The smaller bars you can get at Starbucks. And we wondered before if Auro had the big bar version since the small bars seemed to be "bitin" in as far as our chocolate intakes are concerned. We got one of each of the three varieties available at the store for this chocolate, which we thought was very good and perhaps already comparable to the more popular Malagos chocolates from the same region in the Philippines.

Auro Chocolate's 55% dark chocolate comes in a 90g bar.
Details on the chocolate at the back of the box
Here's a close-up of the nutrition information and a briefer on Auro.
Here is what the chocolate looks like once unwrapped.
The 55% dark chocolate from Auro is smooth and perhaps a good introduction to their chocolates. The taste and texture tells us that they have achieved a certain level in chocolate-making that sets them apart and above the mass production chocolates; never mind the pretender upstarts and amateurs. It also says a lot about cacao and chocolates coming out of Davao. The bar retails for 265 pesos (about 4.91 USD), which at first seems a bit expensive for a local chocolate but then if you're willing to pay the same or more for an inferior foreign chocolate, then you have no excuse shelling out the same for this very good dark chocolate.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Chocolate review: The Freefood Co. Coco Dolce 65% Dark Chocolate

We picked up a few chocolates at the Philippine products and souvenirs section of Rustans at the Shangri-la Mall in Mandaluyong. Among those were a couple of bars from The Freefod Co. We have tasted one of their Coco Dolce line but it was their milk chocolate with rice crisps.

Coco Dolce 65% Dark Chocolate
Details on the chocolate are at the back of the box.
Here's a description of how the chocolate is produced using traditional methods.
Nutrition information and information on the maker

This chocolate retailed for 245 PHP (about 4.93USD) at the Rustan's Department Store. We came upon it as we had a quick stop to get something for a friend we were meeting for lunch. We thought that he would like some Philippine chocolates as he was vacationing here from the US. The chocolates come from Davao but we thought it was less refined in taste and texture compared to the Malagos chocolates we enjoy. Freefood is a young company as it was established in 2013 (according to the info on the box). It's a promising venture and there's certainly room for improvement. Perhaps they can benchmark against the really good chocolates abroad in terms of taste and texture? If they are are already doing it, I would suggest that they get more taste testers. Again, my point here is for them to at least be par with Malagos, which I believe is already there in terms of taste and texture.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Blugre': A Taste of Davao

We were at the Taytay Municipal Hall for a meeting and afterwards wanted to go for some merienda before heading home. We spotted a new cafe at the building just across from the municipal hall. The last time we were here was more than three months ago and this wasn't there before. 

Blugre' Coffee is a popular cafe in Davao City, the hometown of the current President of the Philippines. I haven't seen any branches in Metro Manila and so it came as a pleasant surprise to see this one in Taytay. Here are some photos of the cafe, which opened only last weekend but now enjoys quite a crowd especially municipal hall employees and visitors.

Backdrop, tables and chairs
Counter and merchandise
Beverage and food selections
Novelty drink celebrating the popularity of the current president
We thought their coffee and iced tea were good. I also tried their tuna melt sandwich and it was good, too. The prices are more like Figaro than Starbucks and they do have some unique items on the menu featuring mainly durian. I think the service is good though they are a bit slow to prepare our orders. We thought that this was likely due to their being new so there's definitely room for improvement. We will definitely be back for more coffee, tea and merienda. Maybe next time we will try their meals.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Chocolate review: The Freefood Co. Coco Dolce Milk Chocolate with Rice Crisp

We recently discovered another chocolate brand from Davao. We got this chocolate from an Echostore, which we recently found to be already closed. It is a milk chocolate but I made the exception to buy a bar if only for it being made in Davao and the nice packaging. I had some high expectations when I read from the packaging that it was from the same region that produced the Malagos chocolate bars that we loved.

The Freefood Co. Coco Dolce Milk Chocolate with rice crisp
Details on the chocolate including the price at the back of the package
The write-up at the back claims this bar is artisan chocolate.
Nutrition and manufacturer information and the price

This 100g chocolate bar was priced at 250 PHP (about 5 USD). We thought this chocolate was priced too high considering it was just par with the mass produced milk chocolates (both local and foreign) you can find in supermarkets and groceries. I was willing to pay more for the Malagos chocolates, which I found to be of higher quality and definitely competitive with the more elite foreign brands including the Valrhona's and El Rey's. We thought this one was better than local regular, mass produced chocolates but not yet at par with the Toblerones and Meiji Blacks. Perhaps the chocolate's claim to be 'artisan' made it expensive? I might be willing to taste this chocolate again but for the price tag.

Friday, December 9, 2016

On Davao chocolates

Davao chocolates are among our favorites, and not because of who got elected from there but because we've found and enjoyed really good chocolates from there. I am talking about Davao's Malagos chocolates, which are single origin and, we believe despite having no mention in the packaging, fair trade.

Two of the Malagos chocolates we've tasted so far are the 65% and 72% dark chocolates. The 65% is the more common one of the two and we only were able to taste the 72% recently (and I will write about this soon).
We found this chocolate at the Echo Store and I decided to buy one of the three variants from the same company. We have yet to open and taste this but we do look forward to knowing if this is at least as good as the Malagos chocolates.

Davao and the regions around it produce very good quality cacao, which despite the demand is not produced in large quantities in the Philippines. In fact, Philippine cacao is not well known and which is why the success of Malagos and other chocolates are very important from the marketing viewpoint. These help put the Philippines in the chocolate world map and hopefully, the country can become a major player in both cacao production as well as the chocolates that come out of these.