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      
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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