Cacao on Virgin America

Virgin America almost makes flying fun, what with the movies, music, wifi, and on-demand food ordering. Browsing the menu, I noticed that they now offer the SweetRiot cacao nib bar. SweetRiot has an interesting angle, in that they offer a cacao nib snack that’s sold as a healthy alternative to chocolate. Nibs (the roasted, cracked, hulled cacao bean) don’t have any if the sugar if finished chocolate, but offer a potent blast of pure chocolate flavor if treated right. A few other makers offer a dark chocolate bar with added nibs, which moderates some of the intensity of the nib while giving a nice crunch to the bar. Sweetriot certainly has their marketing down, using an extensive web site to detail how they acquire their cacao. But, as far as I can tell, they only source the nibs, and it’s not clear if they actually make their chocolate. But, more information on their site about roasting philosophy and their chocolate would be great.

So, how was the bar? I’d have to say pretty good, but not memorable. To make a great chocolate nib bar, the two elements should really play off each other. The chocolate itself struck me as pretty middle of the road dark chocolate, with more than a little residual bitterness. The inital notes are pretty sugary, with a nice even melt. The nibs come off as nutty, and strike me as pretty heavily roasted. A fruitier chocolate would have made for more of a contrast with the nut and coffee notes of the nibs. A good start, and with as much attention to the chocolate as to the nibs, this could be a solid bar.

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