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Info Details
Country Belize   
Type Semi-Dark   (80%)
Strain Criollo   (partially)
Source Belize   (Toledo District; San Felipe Village)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Old School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
The late Eric Hoffer would say people deliberately play the role of the true believer to attain the placebo of belief. He might also think that others scoff at what they love so as never to be disappointed.

The problem is that both equally forestall an unknown, be it thru optimism or skepticism. To which Queen wrote in between “we are the champions / we are the champions / no time for losers / cuz we are the champions..."

This bar re-establishes that the Mayans are to chocolate what Shakespeare is to literature; Hendrix to the guitar; & the Yankees to sports: the all-time ongoing champs.

Authentically Aboriginal. And all of it -- from the cacáo to the sugar cane & the vanilla within -- flowers together on Cyrila's Orchard.

Appearance   2.7 / 5
a rube
Color: ruddy cinnamon & light enough for 80% sugar
Surface: rugged
Temper: intemperate
Snap: off-key for an 80
Aroma   7.2 / 10
very simple: cocoa (wooden, stoned, & desiccated) -> grains (cassava) & plantains
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: dry with grain
Melt: pacific (fat love-handles makes right)
Flavor   48.4 / 50
jams in with huge cinnamon-banana -> sweet chicle gum -> a juicy orange suite of funny fruits (mango, papaya, tangerine) -> wintergreen -> Bosco™ -> backs out into a woodshed with yeneri bark splintering all around poppy seeds -> exits to the mint side of its earlier wintergreen -> bosky ending -> banana hangover from the opening, this time with a vanilla-laced tip
Quality   17.9 / 20
A fun-time banana-split bar.

Gabachos who disdain status symbols while maintaining their own by reading Bourdieu might welcome the rudimentary finish to the look & the unpolished Texture (fine, such as it is). Flavor overwhelms any qualms anyways except for brain-dead ticks that mouth off 'but it doesn't taste like a real Dove Bar" (or the equivalent in the professional trade -- Callebaut via a spat of labels like Vosges). The same twits also think cover bands write their own material & the The Fab Faux are better than The Beatles.

The choc underground explodes with few true-to-life fruit bombs: Cacaoyere Amazonia; Grenada's Nib-a-licious; Valrhona Manjari & the next door neighbor to Cyrila's in Belize -- Moho Chocolate. Those average, very roughly, double the added sugar of this.

Just a fifth of brown sugar here catalyzes a produce stand's worth of flavor. Among the most fruit-laden bars ever &, moreover, at such a naturally clear pitch (save for the banana which bursts forth with artificial intensity, or dehydrated at the least).

An enlivened copy of its Nib parent. When Juan Cho of Cyrila's insists the pulp inside the pods of his Criollo trees, & used to ferment the cacáo seeds, is "totally sweet", it must be or someone is pouring OJ on the pile.

That pulp largely accounts for what's absurdly sweet for an 80%; hence the Semi-Dark category listing.

Irrepressibly festive, exuberant & still calm / self-soothing as the Texture that corrects itself. It seemingly contains everything under the sun... but chocolate. Seriously, tastes of a tropical fruit storm with some pockets of zero cocoa. In that respect it feels a little 'missing'... without ever feeling lacking however. It never comes unhinged or terribly imbalanced, for the thinnest veneer of wood holds it all in place. And place is where this resides.

No tutti "Fruity" Peruvian artifacts by Tcho nor Amano Dos Rios distortions out of DR. Even Madagascar -- hailed as the great sweet tart of the chocolate world -- comes an undone sour puss next to this Belize. Only Blends can compare.

The fascinating methods, equipment & technology -- covered more in-depth during the discussion on Cyrila's Nibs -- extends here to this bar.

Calling Cyrila's a micro-processor way overstates the scale of operations. 'Nano'-batch' best describes their size. Specifically, 4 lbs. -- the limiting factor of the electric skillet which serves as a roaster.

For conching, Cyrila's go with the simplest approach possible: none / nada, they don't do it (a luxury currently out of its reach; think Taza but more pragmatic rather than stylistic, & more original considering Belize as a source point for cacáo). Just a stone grinder for about 6 hours; that's the extent of the refining, leaving behind that semi-coarse Texture.

Their knowledge runs deeper than mere equipment specs & chem analysis however.

Supreme masters of the cacáo code for millennia, this reconfirms that the Maya breathe chocolate & intuit it right down to its DNA & right thru to the nostrils where tastes mainly congregate (along the olfactory nerves).

High-growers, fully-ensouled.

ING: cocoa mass, brown sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla

Reviewed September 19, 2011

  

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