Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Semi-Dark   (65%)
Strain Amelonado   (Amazon)
Source São Tomé   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Rustic      
Ptolemy, born a Greek, lived in Egypt, & worked during the Roman Empire on, among many other subjects, his Geographia. He also made math out of music, explored the harmonic scales; covered astronomy & optics too. In other words, the guy was seriously worldly-wise; quite cosmopolitan before that became cocktail fashion. Though inaccurate, his maps were stepping-stones for future cartographers & mariners who eventually sailed to the New World where cacáo could be found. Tracks on albums to craters on planets are named after him... a testimony to his influence.

‘Trintade’ may appear to be a typo, a misspelling of Trinidad but it’s not. Both are islands & that’s about all they share in common.

One, the well-known Caribbean resort off the coast of Venezuela, home to Trinitario & more good cacáos.

The other, Trintade, sits way off the South American coast - about 750 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean. Dubiously part of Ptolemy’s Blessed Islands(?) - tiny (barely 4 square miles) & virtually barren (except for land crabs) - it now belongs to the State of Espirito Santo, Brazil.

In a homage to being a possible trans-shipment point of the first cacáo to cross & then be successfully transplanted from its New World birthplace to the Old World – initially on Príncipe Island, followed by São Tomé where this bar sources its beans – Bessone here connects geography & history with gusto & flavor in a well-proportioned chocolate that rocks the boat... almost feels adrift, off course, on a wave of its own fruit cocktail.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: dark tambootie / sandalwood
Surface: slate... practically perfect excepting tiny pinholes; not a single whirl or swirl on the back
Temper: polyurethane varnish
Snap: crackling; holds a good edge
Aroma   8.4 / 10
impossible to suppress: big wood (a 2x4 right on the nose) -> ovens firing a hot roast -> yet one more hard cheese block from Bessone, this from another island... Sardinia’s Podda Classico -> airchecks smoking leather
Mouthfeel   12.6 / 15
Texture: immersible, only minute grain for a relatively hi-sugar count
Melt: quite the wellspring
Flavor   45.3 / 50
periscopes chocolate right in the cross-hairs (almost angling toward Milk Choc) supported by orchid-woods (vanilla-sandal) -> tongue just chopping wood & confirms its darkness until souring FXs become the center-point as sugar progressively romps to lighten the course from red (tart cherry) to pink (begonia) & pale green (grape) then white (sweet white currant) -> never tires, stays on it to the wooden end burns to a dry finish & thin-sliced podda
Quality   18.5 / 20
São Tomé reconfigured: dials-in the high-heat approach of Pralus (without going to such max’d extremes) on a Vila Gracinda-like cacáo-content (without Cluizel’s refinement level) & comes out close to Richart territory (but wilder / less inhibited owing to a Rustic style).

Results in excellent sequencing anchored in solid tannic chocolate that boosts the tone despite 35% sugar count & yet among the more vibrant / enlivened of so many bars from this origin.

Among Bessone’s best – very easy to relate to. To top it off, he employs vanilla beans also cultivated on the island making this ever more so São Tomé.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, vanilla

Reviewed Autumn 2009


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