86% (Raw)

by Olivia
Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Dark   (86%; Lot 10421 SLB)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Dominican Republic   
Flavor Earthen   
Style Neo-Modern      
To the Inukitut-speaking peoples of the Canadian Arctic, northern Baffin Island is called Sirmilik -- “place of the glaciers” marked by fjords, snowcapped hoodoos & cliffs, ice sheets & eroded formations. In other words, generally uninhabitable.

Here's an unroasted "raw chocolate" from Canada's newest barsmith named Olivia that feels perfectly acclimated to Sirmilik's long, frigid winters & short, cold summers.

Sirmilik Nat'l Park captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua Satellite (image by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team)
Appearance   3.9 / 5
A Bar that Defies Gravity & Taste
Color: imposing
Surface: generally good imprint
Temper: midnight sun
Snap: craggy
Aroma   5.8 / 10
iced coffee & leather buried under the frozen tundragrass / moss + WTFudge... smoked Canadian bacon (oh, those tricky harvesters in the D.R. "hamming" it up for their northern neighbors)
Mouthfeel   12.8 / 15
Texture: lecithin smooth 'n round
Melt: metronomic
Flavor   36.3 / 50
raw cocoa against a flickering raisin -> vines & wood bark -> rubber trees -> buttered latex -> phosphorous-rich potted soil -> vanilla-clove background -> blows off course with some entrails of camp firewood
Quality   14.1 / 20
Most "raw chocolate" bars source their seeds from Ecuadorian slag. Exceptions include Fearless' Dark Midnight (Brazil) & now this -- from the island of D.R.

The green / vegetative attributes are compliments of no roast, while hammy aroma & wooden tongue speak to some fermentation/drying issues. Olivia then strips it down as much as possible in the conching so that scant bitterness & astringency remain (ditto, alas, flavor too). So much so that precious little difference exists between this & the label's roasted version.

Why bother then to abolish the island's hard-won reputation for Big Taste? That same rep, mind you, rooted in a strong tree stock & post-harvest methods, mollifies what should be a brutal percentage aggravated by low-impact processing.

In this bar's case, all for the sake of preserving "raw" cacao's ostensible health benefits &, naturally, marketing dollars.

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

Reviewed March 13, 2012


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