Bahia 70

by Salgado
Info Details
Country Argentina   
Type Brut   (70%)
Strain Comum   (Amazon)
Source Brazil   (Bahia)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Industrial      
Rammed in the 3rd eye by a tree trunk, then whacks it over the head with a 2x4 for good measure. Jorge Amado’s historical-novel about Brazil titled Violent Land de-confected. Should come with an apology & combat pay, unless this just points up the radical differences in cultural/regional taste preferences.

Salgado’s portfolio – particularly its Dark bars - brazens its way against the grain, a contrarian in many aspects of chocolate profiles, flaunting the inherent characteristics of a given cacáo’s genetics &/or origin, only to impose a house-style/predilection which presumably puts the company in good stead with its local market since it’s a successful chocolate maker in South America.

Maybe Argentines, accustomed to juntas & panic runs on the banks, can simply better tolerate harsh bitter chocolate than pampered & sensitized North Americans; perhaps even enjoy / want / demand it that way as a masochist shuns vanilla-sex for a dominatrix, all of which may account for the C-spot’s™ attraction to its Milk Chocolate – where Salgado comes good again.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: cool violet brown
Surface: unblemished; smooth slate on back
Temper: polished
Snap: midrange; jagged cliff walls
Aroma   8.1 / 10
foreboding: a pub of pale ale & yeast kicks-out the wrapper -> fermenting manioc -> nose just walks all over cinnamon & blue stone
Mouthfeel   11.4 / 15
Texture: powderful w/ adhesive astringency
Melt: prolonged
Flavor   28.2 / 50
jolting raw cocoa streaks across helichrysum -> mainlining blue stone cement -> potted soil to a bitter mangrove-mud bottom -> hardens... stringently wooden (resinous as adhesive) on teak & catuaba (basically cerebral stroke-time) -> clears out embittered brazil nut; dirty tonka, cinnamon, & vegetal green the side-effects
Quality   13.3 / 20
Advertised as ‘highly fermented’ but tastes underfermented &, a rarity for Salgado, under-roasted as well... almost raw in its non-development.

Basic Amazon cacáo should deliver baseline chocolate flavor, especially when well-roasted to generate caramel notes during heated Maillard Reactions. This instead stays extremely aggressive with bitter polyphenols well in excess of its 70% weight, feeling more like it belongs to the mid 80% class. Gripping, almost ammoniated astringency, another sign of false advertising, indicating insufficient ferment.

Needless to say, the conche seems ignored, a lost art that could’ve smoothed the piercing edges... if only somewhat.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, lecithin; CBS (Cocoa-Butter-Sugar ratio) ~ 3:4:3

Reviewed June 2009


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