Señor Delicioso

by El Ambateño
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Semi-Dark   (50%??)
Strain CCN-51   
Source Ecuador   (Guayas)
Flavor Sugar   
Style Old School      
Every now & then consumers in the Northern Hemisphere in pursuit of some chocolate fantasy should get off their refined palates & sample how the rest of the world takes it. C-spotters do this at the first chance; frequenting roadside stands in the tropics that offer a taste of down-home flavor. It gives an appreciation of just how far the oft-bitter seeds of cacáo have to come in order to create great chocolate.

This bar is typical everyday fare for Ecuadorians but with a difference. It contains cocoa made from beans classified as factory seconds or rejects -- the kind of residual stuff that no buyer for Mars, Nestlé’s, Callebaut, ADM, Cargill, etc., professes to purchase (even as they gladly do), nor the Fair-Trade, UTZ, Bio-for-Life certifiers, let alone the P2P (Person-to-Person) direct-traders (Askinosie, Rogue, Zotter

However, their relatively low platelet (or bacterial-count) qualifies these beans in this bar for the designation, strangely enough. calidad de exportacion.

In other words, “export quality”... a phrase to make locals feel re-assured about this 'gringo-safe' product.
Appearance   2.9 / 5
Color: dry dirt
Surface: dusty
Temper: ill-tempered
Snap: a pocket rock... walls striated in canyon layers
Aroma   7.7 / 10
fresh forest floor moss & vines -> coconut -> cocoa -> nut woods -> ishpingo (the latter tell-tale CCN-51)
Mouthfeel   11.5 / 15
Texture: coarse / granular
Melt: rounds up spherical fat
Flavor   40.6 / 50
mild-cocoa interlaces sweet-sugar flirting with starfruit though never realizes it -> plantain -> coconut -> wafer biscuit, graham cracker, & cream -> banana -> white fruit (cherimoya, biriba & honeydew melon) -> dissolves into cinnamon
Quality   14.1 / 20
Gourmet gringos might recognize this as a Taza-type chocolate: low process; no conching; very fat. Swings either way between drinking & eating chocolate.

Though sugar never makes it onto the list of ingredients, mounds of it made it into this bar. Damn, they racked it in... easily 40+% of the total contents. Nothing misleading or misrepresentative – the populous by now so ingrained with refined white cane that it’s expected; hence, unnecessary to point it out by printing it on the wrapper.

Ultimately, Ambateño delivers but a glimpse of cocoa, to the very country that grew it, while administering a booster shot of sugar.

The economic math: beans rejected as factory irregulars + cheaper commodity sugar = enticing profit margins.

All in all, not too bad.

Reviewed April 2011


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