by Adi
Info Details
Country Fiji   
Type Dark   (80%)
Strain Blend   
Source Fiji   (Vanua Levu; Savusavu)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Old School      
No, Toto, even though this bar looks to come from the Wicked Witch of the West, this ain’t Kansas but Fiji, where practically every surfer knows & dreams about Cloudbreak – a spot for kamikazes only. Fewer bother with Frigates Passage aka Fijian Pipeline -- 7 miles off the coast.

A gnarly left-hander every bit as epic on big days, the only way to get there is by boat which pretty much assures open waters with no crowds as the reward. Hollow & powerful; sea foam kicks up little pearls, then marbles until fairly regular 7-10 foot bowling-balls bomb just about anyone’s comfort zone... which is exactly what this bar does.

Add in a couple rogue sets & when it gets too scary, just tap those slippers or flippers or aquasocks or whatever ya got on & repeat ‘there’s no place like Hershey’s, there’s no place like Hershey’s, there’s no place...’

Nasty, then it’s right back up on the board, looking forward to the next one.
Appearance   2.2 / 5
Color: light brown clouds w/ dark lava flow
Surface: beautifully mistaken marbling
Temper: savage blooming (either in transit or conditions on the ground in Fiji are far from conducive to chocolate storage)
Snap: brittle crisp (as expected w/ such a degree of bloom)
Aroma   7.8 / 10
tang & grain (hops/soursop - cassava/taro) overlay cocoa + banana leaf; strong sense of place -> all that marbling in the mold swirls down into latent caramel cut into balsa wood -> airs out faint Dark-Milk Choc to reflect its color
Mouthfeel   6.4 / 15
Texture: a cracker
Melt: hard biscuit
Flavor   36.7 / 50
cocoa-bagazo (dry dusty pulp-remains after juice is extracted; basically dregs) -> wooden chips from Aroma lead into cocoa shells & more dust -> rolls up a beer barrel (pale ale) -> small bittering over kava -> trumpet-top mushroom in & around flickering fruit spot (papaya) -> sassafras, patchouli, & molasses (probably brown sugar employed in this) -> bitter cocoa forms a seal, building up pressure that ruptures into an astringent hydrant & unabated bleaching for the coup de grâce
Quality   12.6 / 20
Lonesome pioneer.

Different formulation (blended mix of the whole property) but same pattern as with other bars from Adi: dull start, meanders aimlessly / wretchedly, & then things get interesting though never wholly satisfying.

It’s missing something... like a key ingredient, namely, baseline chocolate flavor.

Also now apparent: early stage development still in need of maturation that typifies Adi, compounded by a motley genetic stew.

True, 80% ranks up there, on the edge of accessibility, just on this side of punishing percentages (85%+) which, without much sugar to fall back on, tests a bar-smith ever more so & exposes the fault lines.

Tom Ohito Zukoshi at Adi plies the chocolate trade in Fiji almost single-handedly. Precous little cacáo tradition, agronomy, co-operatives or university research centers exists on the island. It’s basically him & the Internet; plus maybe an occasional chat with some farm buddies (‘hey, whadaya got over there?... looks like some cacao tree, no? Guess, so’.). As such, he’s nearly miraculous in bringing crops to harvest & his bars to market.

Like nurses in medicine, he & his fellow growers represent the backbone of the industry. Respect it... such as it is.

ING: cocoa mass, cacáo butter, sugar; CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio) ~2:3:1

Reviewed Summer 2010


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