Info Details
Country Lithuania   
Type Dark   (71%)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Grenada   
Flavor Crossover   (Fruits/Flowers x Spices/Herbs)
Style Classic      
Here's a fairly typical tale in this premium chocolate niche… but with a wickedly magical twist.

A corporate man quits the proper office job. An I.T. guy on the prowl for something more tangible than digital.

After studying abroad in London for a master’s degree in urban development, he returns home to Lithuania in 2007 -- worldly-wise, arrogant, & unemployed. By the next year, his cocksure attitude lands him in dire straits, literally & physically. The global financial meltdown wrecked economies just about everywhere, causing havoc & stress to the body politic as well as to his own health. He ends up hospitalized more than a half a dozen times. Going in & out of medical emergency rooms takes its toll. But it gave him time to reflect on how disease & death might be a cosmic filtration system to identify useless creatures on Earth & eliminate them.
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Appearance   4.9 / 5
Color: mahogany-ebony
Surface: runway model (even the grease spatter on the back & the release point up front leave beauty marks)
Temper: hi (Naomi) wattage
Snap: waif-thin pour / pocket-book catch
Aroma   9 / 10
Grenada may be the spice island but it's volcanic to the core (compounded by a stone melanguer here to mix the cocoa liquor)
this bar very coastal: salty sea purslane, coral, sand & cocoa rock + flint stone (yabba dabba doo)... commands attention & gets it lest tongues be shipwrecked
the only place that remotely compares with this scent might be on the other side of the world -- Fiji
only in its wake do waves of spices rush ashore on a raft of big banana
Mouthfeel   11.7 / 15
Texture: Naïve strives for silken textures but this granular at ~25-30 microns, call it pulverized 'silk powder' that accelerates...
Melt: ... to shorten the length
Flavor   46.3 / 50
sweet breadfruit-spread with the white-fleshed cocoplum & the whitish-purple star apple fruits -> hot cocoa mix in a lava flow & shift happens... spiced figs (mace / paprika / vanilla... generalizable as pimento leaf extract) bobbing up & down among an engrossing chocolate -> flours (biscuits / wafers / crepes) -> recessed banana -> carob syrup treacles over chicory, then percolates wild-coffee grinds (cross fertilized from earlier lava) -> apricot blossom -> cream finale with soursop fruit
Quality   17.8 / 20
Domantas Uzpalis of Naive concedes that Grenada presents a challenging origin whose plump seeds carried some off-notes in this allotment.

He & his helpers have largely overcome thanks to being excessively hygienic, as in cleanly winnowing (initially by hand by unemployed women of his tiny Lithuanian village). Now a jerry-rigged winnower does the job (officially to 85%; unofficially it tastes much higher).

A customized air-popping drum roaster is on the way. So the status of Naive remains in flux (generally S.O.P. for the niche). With the changes, the label expects to shift from rustic to hi-craft. This particular bar stakes out a middle course between those two: classic Taste with a rustic Texture, the latter from conching on the gentle side for medium-hi duration which gets reflected in the flavors.

Pretty tame / generally subdued, dappled with mild fruits. Nowheres near the rambunctious character of other bars from this island. Additional cocoa butter contributes to that (helps cool the embers of a fairly good roasting). And too vanilla, which mediates the highs & lows into a middle spectrum. Quite the judicious use of it; even brave really, in this era of incipient neo-spartan taste when purists eschew every additive (except sugar, of course... but, hold it, ain't that a spice?).

The real difference here: nothing feels extraneous (save for Texture which might've benefitted from yet another heresy -- such as a drop of lecithin). Just the opposite: the elements integrate & meld rather seamlessly, despite the Textural grain, as if intrinsic to one another. Hence, its classicism in flavor.

A studied poise to defy naiveté, especially next to many erupting Grenadas that rock the tongue off.

Quite the precocious start for someone who professes:

Liar, Liar... Chocolate on Fire

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla

Reviewed May 24, 2012


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