Raw Maya Spice

by Madre
Info Details
Country USA   (Hawai'i)
Type Flavored   (Allpsice, Chipotle, & Vanilla; Semi-Dark 72%)
Strain Blend   
Source Mexico   (Chiapas; Xoconochco)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Old School      
Madre, el mother of cacáo, going radical-rogue on some Mayan spiced chocolate, all sourced from the Zapatista-stronghold of Chiapas.

Ventures maybe into unintended territory but ends up where it needs to be.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: dark ruby brown
Surface: bit of a flake
Temper: semi-gloss
Snap: buttons down tight
Aroma   9 / 10
warm blended cocoa ‘n spices pivots less around the actual components that comprise this & more about candied apples & candy corn -> mulled cider ‘n cinnamon ensconced in sauna chiche wood -> eventually bleeds pepper; sensational
Mouthfeel   11.3 / 15
Texture: powder dry
Melt: well-timed all things considered (thank you, lecithin)
Flavor   43.7 / 50
spice convention (cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, epazote & vanilla) meeting on the cold steps of lowbrow cocoa -> pepper fires thru... heats up the action... bubbles up candy corn (+ a flash nail polish too) -> caramel apple over raw cocoa, including characteristic 'vice-grip' compliments of a stringent finish from residual volatiles of the ferment left unprocessed
Quality   18.1 / 20
Conventional enough combo in the everything-old-is-new-again era of modern choc... except for the preparation.

Unroasted; no mistaking the conche either or lack thereof, felt readily in the Texture, barely minimal / almost negligible at well larger than the industry standard of ~20 microns, putting ever more onus on the quality of the ingredients.

Heated nonetheless by chipotle (& in a sense therefore roasted) &, less so, by allspice as well as that other great spice – vanilla (notable for making 90+% of chocolates the world over into flavored bars, technically speaking). Together they kindle & transform to warm an otherwise problematic “raw" chocolate couverture that inheres with its own resident spice tones (frigid such as they are); the total spice package weighing heavily against the base foundation of cocoa, pressuring it into greater concentrated flavors.

In this respect the formula may have overshot its intended mark (i.e., the market that craves chocolate-colored sheet rock for whom good taste seems inconsequential because it’s so F’ing inconvenient – i.e., foodistas who swear that cooking kills; never mind that, for instance, broccoli’s healthful properties – the anti-cancer agents glucoraphanin, sulforaphane & indole-3-carbinal -- are liberated when steamed).

This allows Madre to once again defy expectations, raising the “raw” bar above its normal unroasted / abortive disability by not outright effacing chocolate but instead subtly coaxing it in to the formulation.

And so it presents a classic showcase of over-achiever. Reaches that rare status for the category: beyond edible... actually palatable... & a modern simulation of how ancient Mesoamericans possibly took their chocolate in lukewarm beverages.

ING: cocoa mass, cacáo butter, evaporated cane sugar, chipotle, allspice, vanilla, lecithin

Reviewed January 2011


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