Info Details
Country Switzerland   
Type Dark   (72%)
Strain Playa Alta   
Source Venezuela   (Bolivar; Orinoco River Basin)
Flavor Naked   
Style Classic      
Supreme authority so intimidates that no one dares to challenge it. Naturally someone will... & must. Either the brazen idiot doomed to fail or the bold genius destined for greatness.

Science be damned, Klaus Blumer – the brainchild behind Idilio – holds an old, now-novel again, theory. Neither the Outer Amazon nor the Western Valleys sloping away from the Venezuelan Andes, nor the evermore remote Mesoamerica, rocks the cradle of Criollo (or perhaps even the entire species).

Hmmm, ‘interesting’, to use a term on the C-spot’s™ Banned Word List. Maybe it helps to ‘go-native’ when embarking on such a quest. Whereas Amano Art Pollard taps notable Venzy expert Maricel Presilla to procure his bronco beans labeled ‘Montanya’, Klaus Blumer goes right to the heart of the matter by marrying a Venezuelan, declaring love greater than business &, moreover, by going for the holy grail of all cacáo crusades – the birthplace of the most prized varietal!


Believing he found the chocolate equivalent to the ‘source of the Nile’ at the headwaters of the Orinico (curious how he managed that in the home of the Neolithic Yanomani), he then freely publicizes his findings - openly & transparently - so everyone can ruminate over the controversy as opposed to playing a shell parlor game. Rare, indeed.

Did he actual discover it? Hey, with a taste like this, it could be Mother’s (the parent of all cacáo) or just Smucker’s™. Either way, ‘special’.
Appearance   5 / 5
Color: moonstruck: surreal silver-brown
Surface: perfect
Temper: luster-dust make-up
Snap: high & tight; sheered edge
Aroma   8.7 / 10
densely claustrophobic: balsam -> musk -> abacá (fibrous rope used for tea bags) -> grilled artichoke & plantain -> topped w/ a cherry stem
Mouthfeel   13.8 / 15
Texture: extra-fine lace w/ slight grain
Melt: great body; round & unctuous
Flavor   46.4 / 50
gigantic swell: simple cocoa -> chocolate-mushroom paté -> cocona -> dried fruit (apricot / persimmon) -> buttered almonds ‘n tonka ground into a Mahaleb cherry kernel -> light juice spray (soncoya, sweet rosella) -> red banana -> black cherry chocolate
Quality   19.2 / 20
Many Americans taking their first plunge into premium chocolate get a foothold by purchasing Guittard’s Orinico Milk Chocolate – a starter ‘gateway bar’ to the Dark Side. Its beans probably grow nowhere near the Orinico River itself.

Here’s the advanced course, direct from the source. Very streamlined & concentrated flavors with fleeting accents subsumed back into the profile for even denser deepstack that make it deceptively simpler than it actual is. Amazingly compressed verticals; tremendously high CQ / natural chocolate tone for a great backbone. Holds its posture with poise - no soiled stains or chem peels – yet primordial (albeit hyper Swiss-processed) compared to the manicured types of more or less the same strain grown in nurseries to the northwest.

A ‘wild’ cacáo that in all probability comes from a cross of an Amelonado with the Guiana-type which geneticists call the Playa Alta hybrid.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cacáo butter

Reviewed Summer 2010


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