by Al nassma
Info Details
Country Dubai   (via Austria)
Type Flavored   (31%; Camel’s Milk Chocolate)
Strain Amelonado   (Amazon)
Source Ivory Coast   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Rustic      
Camel racing, "The Sport of Sheiks”, traditionally utilized children for jockeys, boys around 4 years old, the smaller the better. Some would literally be starved to lighten up the saddle. Many were sold into child slavery, rarely schooled, & occasionally abused. The equivalent in the chocolate industry: WFCL (Worst Forms of Child Labor).

In response to organizations protesting their exploitation, racing authorities in Dubai purchased miniature robots for camel jockeys, remotely controlled by valorized owners fondling thier joysticks on 2-way radios & GSM mobiles while sitting in the backseat of chauffered SUVs that ride alongside -- sometimes finishing ahead of their charges. The ultimate videogame for the super-rich who naturally hire stable hands to shovel up the camel turds.

Re-script the sequel of Lawrence of Arabia doing that.

Ditto the spice rack in this bar... it sidetracks the main components.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: browned Za’fran (literally ‘to be yellow’), spelled s-a-f-f-r-o-n in English
Surface: well-set & finished mold on the airside; slopes & subsurface bubbling out back
Temper: luminous for Milk
Snap: quiet shush
Aroma   8.2 / 10
a souq of pumpkin pie fillers – nutmeg leads the pack w/ its mace extract -> backed in cinnamon & vanilla & probably the camphorous cardamommy pods too -> fumes ginger before long -> possible apparition of the Queen of Arabian spices –- rosewater (distilled in a process originally invented in the Arab world)
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: granular
Melt: fairly fast
Flavor   39.4 / 50
rash ginger even before it hits the lips -> nutmeg goes over hot 'n easy onto Camel’s Milk & rapidly catches salt ‘n vanilla -> green cardamom summons licorice -> black pepper -> salted honey-cocoa weaves its way to glimpse the King of Arabian spices – cumin (imaginary such as it) -> kicks it back on salt
Quality   16 / 20
Conspicuously simple for all the onboard exotica (cacáo, camel’s milk, honey & spice).

There’s a spice mix in here, though seeing how Al nassma of Dubai does a lot on the cheap & on the sly (via Joseph Manner in Austria, using Ivory Coast cacáo, + undisclosed ingredients), would it surprise if it just sprinkled in allspice to the Milk Choc base & labeled that a ‘spice blend’?

About as well-ordered as a Sharia law proceeding, sentencing included to an essential volatile oil burning of ginger -- way out in front -- for violating a fundamental tenet of Arabian cuisine: preparations done less to make dishes pungent, which would induce heat & a dangerous loss of moisture in an arid desert environment, than to enliven appetites & flavors.

Then nutmeg - its medicinal properties classify it officially as a banned drug in Saudi Arabia – forces hot pincers on the tongue.

The maker’s must’ve been misled by the high-fat content in Al nassma’s unflavored Milk Chocolate (21% Camel’s Milk weight) that screams foul nomadic body odor, obnoxious noises; tough & stubborn, but laughs when whipped & keeps its spindly legs kicked. Here it barely gets over the hump, beaten into a timid & rather recessed BGP (BackGround Prop); that’s how high the spice cauldron gets, negating any real dynamic contrast.

Where’s the daring – other than in heavy-handedness? Instead of the road less taken, any one of the myriad of them &, no, no need for any Biblical censures like frankincense & myrrh resins or spikenard... how about sticking with the culinary bounty in Arabia & Ali Baba’s open sesame conjuring the mystical Land of Punt from where so many spices were jealously imported during antiquity: the bitter almond / cherry flavors of mahlab; the tart bush berry Rhus coriaria known as sumac (when mixed with thyme produces za’atar); mastic gum’s gentle balsam-like fragrance; hibiscus petals that constitute karkadey; or tamarind. Not even the cheap saffron-substitute shaybah (“old man’s beard”) derived from lichen that fakes its bitter, metallic flavor? No, instead Al nassma goes punk & this bar hops on the well-traveled interstate highway led by marketing research & focus-group tested guidelines.

Still, it does orchestrate that enharmonic toward cumin near the finale.

The ‘father of history’, Herodotus, wrote in the 5th century BCE that the whole country of Arabia is scented with spices, & everyone exhales marvelously sweet breath. Mohammed himself probably rode spice caravans prior to becoming the prophet. Ahhh, this bar coulda, woulda, shoulda... been so transporting.

ING: sugar, camel milk powder (21%), cacáo butter, cocoa mass, honey, spice blend, vanilla

Reviewed October 2010


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