by Agostoni
Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Dark   (74%)
Strain EET   
Source Ecuador   (Guayas)
Flavor Naked   
Style Classic      
A chocolate out of Ecuador via Italy to echo Allesandro Moreschi, the late 19th century's most famous castrato — a male singer who undergoes castration before puberty &, as a result, retains a soprano or alto voice that turns powerful as he develops lung capacity & physical bulk into adulthood.

Moreschi became 1st soprano in the Sistine Chapel choir for 30 years & was the only castrato of the bel canto tradition to make solo sound recordings.

This chocolate likewise tastes castrated but instead of retaining its upper register octaves, it drops into a tenor with plain base notes.

Appearance   3.2 / 5
Color: muddy brown
Surface: baking disks
Temper: mottled & dusted
Snap: ear-splitting
Aroma   7 / 10
dirty banana turns into a forestry study (vegetative green, an arboretum with spores & fungi) of riverine scents (water-borne sediments) -> small vanilla / peanut
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: medium-light body
Melt: uneventful
Flavor   42.9 / 50
barley malt vegetal -> soft nuts 'n cocoa -> mellocos (aka ulluco in the potato family but a little sweet) -> stone to typify Ecuador -> cold cocoa -> vanilla -> tiny nut toffee
Quality   15.3 / 20
Agostoni writes about a marked floral bouquet, distinctive bitter, minor acidity & trace astringency: "full, perfectly rounded, characteristic cocoa culminating in a particularly persistent floral aroma."

The label simultaneously overstates & understates the matter.

A higher than average cocoa butter content -- to suit its intended use as couverture for desserts & pastries rather than strictly a straight eating chocolate -- ensures a cuffed bitter well in check. Ditto acidity & astringency which Agostoni accurately describes. But flowers? Floral only in their wet marketing dreams.

The upshot: more a dark tone than Dark taste. Mostly baseline cocoa attended by a maltiness generated in the post-harvest prep that never vacates. A safe profile; doubly so for 74%.

Finally a chocolate that breaks the spate of mediocre product emanating from Ecuador. Assiduously cultivated / studiously crafted... rounded-off flavors displaying none of the activity & dynamism of another Guayas-sourced cacáo -- Amano's, in a much different show of style & technique.

Nothing special; just solid.

Reviewed March 27, 2012


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