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Pink Peppercorn

by Madre
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Flavored   (Pink Peppercorn; Smoked Salt; Mesquite)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Hawai'i USA   (Hamakua; Mendes Estate)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style New School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
According to Dr. Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, pink peppercorn annoys a lot of gardeners in Hawai'i because it grows all over the islands as an invasive plant.

His solution?

"Eat the Enemy" by flavoring chocolate bars with it.

American ingenuity at work... both opportunistic & ecological.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: tickled pink
Surface: peppered with crushed corn
Temper: fiery
Snap: crinkle crumble
Aroma   8.9 / 10
exotic & intoxicating: pepper spray in & around candied flowers + honey musk
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: thin &...
Melt: ... quickly dissipates
Flavor   44.6 / 50
beautiful cocoa -> black salted toffee -> 1st apparition of pepper, cuffed in caramel -> pure umami as salt asserts control -> dragon fruit cuts in -> pepper resurgence in the guise of juniper berry -> volcanic cocoa
Quality   16 / 20
Wild contrast twixt the quick Melt & the persistent Flavors.

Madre often spices its bars with exuberence. This one shows some moderating influences even as it delivers tons of savory to a rather brooding finish.

Lava-fertilized chocolate -- a signature now of Hawai'i's Big Island -- further embroiled in pink peppercorn, while the sweetener magnifies / magma-fies the caramel-toffee quotients (partially attributed to a fairly pronounced vanilla, intrinsic & added).

Mesquite-smoked salt then lifts it all up & animates the already smoldering characteristics of Hawaiian cacáo.

The balance with which Madre carries this off represents a breakthrough of sorts for the label that should go a long way to finding its niche in the craft chocolate movement as a master of blended flavors.

Reviewed February 8, 2012

  

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