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Info Details
Country Netherlands   (via Switzerland)
Type Flavored   (Fleur de Sel; Milk Chocolate 40%)
Strain Esmeraldas   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Earthen   (the beautiful earth)
Style Neo-Modern      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Quietly explodes in the mouth then gently rocks the house by reaching beyond the palate thru the viscera down to the toes like a quality foot massage
Appearance   4.2 / 5
Color: deep tan w/ pink blush
Surface: well-formed mold
Temper: polished but wrapper transfer too
Snap: flump
Aroma   7.3 / 10
dusty, musty, & mostly dull : malted-maple, banana, & glycerin over coconut buttermilk spilled onto linen -> splashed w/ sea salt & a little Campari (cascarilla bark) + laurel wood -> ultimately aerates to a tall column of mocha
Mouthfeel   12.9 / 15
Texture: soft taffy
Melt: slow / viscous
Flavor   45.9 / 50
streams in pure cream chocolate -> light salt zaps create toffee roll -> melts thru to cocoa malt -> cocoa butter cream w/ macadamia adjunct to buttered pecan & hay -> white pepper mocha
Quality   18.4 / 20
Salgado triumphantly demonstrated that Esmeraldas is a natural in Milk Chocolate. They go together like velvet & silk. This bar conclusively proves it, then notches it up another level of engineering by adding just a touch of Fleur de Sel like so many delicate flecks targeting each taste bud.

Similar to its Beni bar, Original Beans, which superficially is all about trend marketing - banking off so-called “Fair-Trade”, green sustainable agriculture, & single-origin sourcing except the label backs it up & largely practices what it preaches to effectuate the true fruits of such labor - employs couverture (tapping Pacari’s Esmeraldas for the base here) cutting that with milk & salt, to inject heft into a valued-added package.

The prime difference between the Salgado bar and Pacari's is the variance in roasting. Where Salgado goes for deep & robust, Pacari stays light-handed (although Original Beans cooks it some). And while salt tries to compensate for the loss of scale produced by a low-roast, their combination conspire to eliminate overtones found in the Salgado, plus, oddly enough, umami too.

Nonetheless, this delivers a more consistent if limited flavor &, on the upside, less perceived-sweetness but overall finer.

One that belongs in the Pantheon.

ING: sugar, cacáo butter, cocoa mass, milk powder, fleur de sel, sunflower lecithin

Reviewed Spring 2010

  

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