Amazonas Frucht

by Zotter
Info Details
Country Austria   
Type Semi-Dark   (officially 65%; actually closer to 70%)
Strain Amazon   
Source Brazil   (Pará; Medicilândia)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style New School      
During a conference call with Josef Zotter & his daughter Julia in the summer of 2010, the subject of fermentation arose. Discussed were all sorts of innovative techniques ranging from the small tray method (as opposed to the more traditional large cascading boxes) to perforated seeds (allowing for easier penetration of the cacáo pulp) & additives to spike the ferment pile (the likelihood in one controversial chocolate).

Julia Zotter reacted with "hmmmm, fascinating because I'm going to Brazil next month".

There she conducted a research project. The result of her experimentation is this bar.

Cacáo usually ferments in its own pulp. That pulp imparts key pre-cursors which shape a finished chocolate’s flavor. Adding the pulp of other tropical fruits to the mix at the fermentation stage is hardly anything new. Admitting it is however. As well as... well, refreshing.

Julia added bananenfruchtfleisch (= 'banana fruit pulp' in German) to essentially the same seed lot used in the label's Brasilien 60.

They're harvested, fermented & dried as usual; then twice-fermented -- the second time around with banana fruit pulp & dried again. The flavor transfer tastes apparent yet just a soft notch above subtle.

Incidentally, the Zotters also relate some C-spot™ kind-of-liner-notes on how Julia plucks chickens with a machete & deals with tarantulas & poisonous snakes.

Hmm, could they be part of her next fermentation experiment?
Appearance   3.9 / 5
Color: medium brown to reflect its midweight cacáo content
Surface: some weirding going on: not bloom (sugar or fat) but crusts (the impact of foreign pulp or some machinery problem?)
Temper: soft shimmer
Snap: hi-shear; uniform break wall
Aroma   9.1 / 10
exotic & wild: sharp palm frond & a piercing banana leaf cut thru caza, juniper, & golden berries to tingle the sniff-ports
Mouthfeel   12.3 / 15
Texture: subprime beginning (the consequence of just 12 hour conching)...
Melt: ... slowly rounds out
Flavor   42.6 / 50
immediate sweet: brown sugar & chocolate-dipped banana -> hangs like this for awhile... then dries out into some backwooods until a dark fruit develops (grumichama - Brazilian cherry) followed by açai (peak moment)... banana never far off... which turns it toward yellow (a well-complexed caza berry to the apricot-likeness of cabelluda) & rides out forever... banana-chocolate fondue finish
Quality   16.4 / 20
Overly exuberant; little too glee & sweet.

Kernels saturated with the combined cacáo & banana pulps could easily stand up to 75% or even more instead of this semi-sweet 65%, which would give this bar some heft to go along with its fruit punch.

As is, a Chocolate McDonald's for Monkeys: a fast-food swing-thru that requires of them no peeling-the-banana or splitting open the cacáo pod (both of which they're naturally expert at).

Before anyone gets carried away however & calls it a mere novelty, this demonstrates yet another level of flavor formation in chocolate. With genetic breakthroughs occurring in the lab & post-harvest innovations in the field, the future of chocolate is looking ever more tasteful.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, salt

Reviewed December 1, 2011


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