Côte d'Ivoire

by Mars
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (65%)
Strain Amelonado   
Source Ivory Coast   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Old School      
Takes that old familiar piece of furniture – Ivory Coast - & refurbishes it with an ebony toast.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: medium brown with faint magenta cast
Surface: pocked with micro-pinholes
Temper: opaque
Snap: pierced arrow
Aroma   9.1 / 10
clear & beautifully spiced (ginger & cloves intimate with ‘grains of paradise’ – African seeds reminiscent of cardamom) over cassava-cocoa (attiéké in the local cuisine of a breaded note) -> the only off-beat: slightly chlorinated
Mouthfeel   11.6 / 15
Texture: meager dispersant liquifies...
Melt: ... rapidly
Flavor   45.1 / 50
cocoa fresca (almost milk-like), very liquid with fresh-picked spices direct from the Aroma -> sweet mongongo nuts & Mahaleb cherry kernels -> tiny bud of violet on a biscuit -> brief but special akee (yellow-fruit of nut proportions) amplified by Synsepalum dulcificum aka 'miracle fruit' -> undying vanilla-cum-kola flirts with wattleseed over a thin veneer of ebony wood & tobac leaf
Quality   16.7 / 20
Technically flawed; genetically endowed.

Mars, which either conducts or underwrites much of the research on cacáo today, must be up to some plant experiments because this comes across both in Texture & Taste as a departure from most Ivory Coast cocoa. And yet all for the good, & generally running concurrent with the rest of the country's crop.

True, 35% sugar, the King Cane of spices, creates its own large fraction of effects to seem shipped in from São Tomé. Where that island’s cacáo can spark into flint, this more or less twinkles in its sparkle.

But the overall light weight & liquidity feel out of character, the underlying baseline cocoa, that classic Earth ‘chocolate’ – long a hallmark of West African cacáo – goes missing some... traces of it still present, just dilute, to wonder what might be in store for Ivory Coast’s future now that engineers busy themselves with a new generation of super seeds ready to combat disease, drought & depression.

CBS (Cocoa Mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): ~ 5:8:7

Reviewed Autumn 2010


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