by Cacaoyere
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Brut   (91%; Lot #080709CP)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Ecuador   (Puerto Quito)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Industrial      
Karmageddon – performing good works... with a stern vengeance.

Every bit the equal to the slippery quagmire that was the Battle of Pichincha, May 1822.

Good luck climbing this volcanic mountain rising behind the valley of Quito, Ecuador - steep slopes, deep gullies, dense undergrowth. Bring an oxygen tank to ward off altitude sickness along with, as a safety precaution, some Scottish Albións who saved the day & filled-in back when the 540-man Yaguachi Battalion of local Ecuadorians high-tailed it & retreated.

Ahhh, but with struggle comes vindication... in the after life.
Appearance   4.3 / 5
Color: opaque pewter brown (hi-fat)
Surface: 3-D pespective to the mold; crenulated whorls on back ala a cherimoya skin
Temper: tannery leather
Snap: easy
Aroma   9.3 / 10
clear & clean herbal forests (wild orchids, climbing vines, fern fronds, pita palms & bamboo) dipped in oil (avocado / cocoa butters) -> side grains (soy, rice, yucca) -> aerates classic ishpingo (cinnamon tone)
Mouthfeel   13.8 / 15
Texture: the high point – smooth without any paste grip
Melt: melts on contact... instantly
Flavor   36.2 / 50
very piecemeal: sows its oats right away, then soy flour -> yucca & rice bowl before fronds & climbing vines start to creep & produce overgrowth all over it -> dirt, mud, soil & lava in an earthen upheaval -> groundswell continues with worms for good measure, until a flake or two of ishpingo & vanilla -> toxic tapioca -> bug spray w/ citronella -> dank stringent cocoa + a death gasp of what might have been: orange blossom
Quality   14.4 / 20
Part of the Chocolate 2.0 wave surging out of Ecuador these days – single-region plays where every step in the supply / production chain stays in-country creating value-add for the locals &, supposedly, sustainable agro-forestry for the rest of us.

The spate of these labels, farm cooperatives, & social venture firms supporting them rivals the independent record companies in the music world in their sheer numbers. Anyone who can shake a cacáo tree seemingly gets a deal as fast as any rapper shopping a mix-tape. Goods pulled from various crops are gathered into a ferment pile, then trucked off to a central processor in Quito where 2 or 3 major players take it from there to manufacture bars for export. Prepare for more onslaught... Ecuador is just getting busy & it promises to be dizzy. (For an in-depth view of Reality Chocolate check out Cristian Melo's Left Behind: A Farmer's Fate in the Age of Sustainable Development.)

The parent company of this label is Ecuatoriana - a chicken & sausage producer backed by German marketing muscle. Earlier iterations of it displayed very little stockyard odors or prairie oysters. Instead their bars expelled a wine ‘n cheese funk.

The cacáo in this particular bar hails from the Puerto Quito region in north central Ecuador, a midway point of sorts between other cacáo types seen out of this country – several Esmeraldas farther north & Quevedo to the south (the latter perhaps best exhibited by Guittard). The closest chocolate to this in proximity that has been introduced to the int’l market may be Coppeneur’s Tscahili. Both share a bog-infested character.

This one nearly unmediated save for about 8% sugar & ham-handed soy lecithin (evidenced in Taste as much as the expected Texture), despite which this bar might as well be Nibs – that’s how forward & raw it feels. None of the dazzle of the gold standard at this percentage from this general origin – the stellar Domori / DeBondt 90 classic.

A work in progress - with more of the former than the latter... from the eagle’s perspective or even that of the hummingbird which graces this bar's cover.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter, soy lecithin; CBS (Cocoa Mass/Butter/Sugar ratio): ~5:5:1

Reviewed Spring 2010


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