Friday, 24 July 2015

Pacari Raw 85%

Raw and 85%, although "antioxidant rich", I wasn't looking forward to this Pacari. I bought this bar in a small natural food store in my home town, I was so amazed to find Pacari in there, just when I was about to leave! (I also bought Pacari's wonderful Piura 70% again and their blueberry bar to try)

It was a very dark brown, looking nearly black. The aroma had a seemingly 'Pacari' feel. There was earthiness, leather, tobacco, whisky/metallic (something that suggests rawness), vanilla and citrus

The taste was bitter then came flowers with a tinge of citrus. There was something "meaty" nearing the finish, which I think is something of raw chocolate (like I found in Cocoa Raw). The texture was smooth, with the help of added cocoa butter and sunflower lecithin. I like the mould of Pacari, giving chunky bites

85% is too high for me, so I wouldn't buy this bar again, however I liked the buzz the caffeine and other stimulants gave me

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Zotter Labooko Peru Barranquita 75%

This chocolate had a 20 hour conch. The beans were from Barranquita village, which is on the banks of the Rio Huallaga, in Peru. They were said to be fruity and floral and 100% Trinitario

An aroma of bubblegum, blueberry and raspberry. I thought of the Hubba Bubba® tape. It was very flowery, though nothing specific to myself. There was a numb (zest-less) citrus orange and cherry brandy too. Overall, very comical
A scuffed surface
The taste started cocoa, it was very slow and buttery, then came the blueberry/raspberry and flowers, then back to cocoa and cocoa butter. It was a short lived flavour, as in the fruity/floral notes. It was a shame to receive so much of a 'cocoa' flavour
Overall, a slight dissatisfying Labooko bar, especially when I had such high expectations. It had too much cocoa butter for my liking, making it very fatty, disrupting the flavour and creating a very buttery texture

Friday, 17 July 2015

Fruition 70% Peru

I've had Fruition before, the Rustic Crunch, that was impressive. Fruition are bean-to-bar makers in the Catskills Mountains, NY who have revolved their chocolate around Peruvian beans from small organic co-operatives. They specifically have made a Marañón bar, which is still Peruvian but more traceable to the consumer. However, they have also made bars with Hispaniola and Camino Verde (Ecuador) beans!
This bar was £8.95 from Cocoa Runners so, for a non-US resident, this bar is expensive!

The aroma was chocolate, toasted, leather and vanilla. The snap: good, the texture: smooth

The taste was cocoa, with the roast evident, then came a distinct lemon which is very buzzy. This acidity also suggested apple cider vinegar (to my surprise, I see that I found an apple taste in the Rustic Crunch too). Beneath this acidity, the dark chocolate flavour and greenery balances with the lemon, so it's not overly sour. There was cinnamon spice, and mint: of which almost seemed to cleanse the palate! 

Having this chocolate, you almost feel as if it has lemon oil in it

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé Bonbons

This was the one place I had to visit when in Budapest. And really "it was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight." I felt jittery when I finally found the shop. There was a CHUAO cocoa bag in the window and inside it smelt wonderful. The smell wasn't of what is associated with chocolate. I cannot even describe it, but, it was real chocolate. Oh my ... fine cocoa!

I chose 6 bonbons and they were put into a paper cone. I then walked 2 miles, in the hot sun, back to the apartment, praying that they wouldn't melt in my backpack! - A few days later I went back and bought 3 of them again (as I wasn't confident in my first tasting notes on them) and then the Lemon Oil Caramel too

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Szántó Tibor Santo Domingo

Szántó Tibor is a Hungarian bean-to-bar maker. I enjoyed reading Tibor's story on how he got into the chocolate making craft. For this bar, the cocoa beans are from the San Cristobal region of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and mixed with unrefined cane sugar and cocoa butter

I bought this bar in Endorfine (a chocolate shop in Budapest that I highly recommend - lots of quality bars, i.e. Amedei, Menakao, Marou etc!). Prior to buying, the young lady allowed me to try Szántó Tibor. Starting with the Bén Tre (Vietnam), I then asked about the Dominican one, they had similarities, but the flavour the Dominican evoked meant I just had to chose it over the Vietnamese
The nose was chocolate, tropical fruits and metallic

The taste was LEGIT chocolate covered plums (prunes), Wawel Sliwka W Czekoladzie, a Polish delicacy that I loved when I was little. There was mango, smoked hints, cherry and it was very sweet (because of the larger sugar particles?)

The texture was 'rough' with sugar, but there were also the tiny cocoa bean husks being left behind on the tongue. Some (I know one guy for sure) would disapprove of this coarse ground. Admittedly I didn't love it, but I think the nostalgic flavour dominated the texture. Plus, the sugared feel added to the effect of it being dried fruit coated in chocolate ... 

Overall, this was a different chocolate experience. It seemed less sacrosanct, but tasted divine. The way to eat was to chew