Uganda Fleur de Sel

by Naive
Info Details
Country Lithuania   
Type Flavored   (Fleur de Sel; 68% cacáo-content)
Strain Amazon   
Source Uganda   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style New School      (the new Ugandan school)
Certain oversized-egos in the foodie-verse talk about living dangerously. RE: some wanna-be Bear Grylls private jetting into exotic destinations & devouring extreme combinations of dishes carefully prepared by locals watched over by a camera crew.

Or alpha-chefs winging plates in a trial 'n error gob-fest where guests pay top-dollar admission.

They're too big to know even themselves now that the facts aren't the facts, experts are everywhere, & the smartest person in the room Is the room (to seize upon the title of David Weinberger's book).

The person who cashiered these cacáo seeds however -- known here only as Anonymous -- actually lives dangerously. He resides in a factual war zone teeming with both guerrillas & gorillas. Right in the crosshairs of a hot border separating 2 countries not at each other's throats but at their own with civil strife.

Anonymous never complains or beats his chest. No, he just goes about his job: to secure well-fermented cacáo growing in some of the most inhospitable places on Earth. Because of him, boutique barsmiths like Domanatas Uzpalis of Naive can craft premium chocolate for consumers in the Global North.

A world premiere, the first of its kind to hit the int'l market... a chocolate that features cacáo from Uganda.

To get a deeper flavor for what all this gangster chocolate entails, check out Congo 82.

The things people do for this thrill called 'chocolate'.
Appearance   4.8 / 5
Color: silver-brown tickled pinkish
Surface: clear / clean front; salted back that even pocks the foil wrap
Temper: luminous
Snap: bendable (though sound integrity along the break wall)
Aroma   8.2 / 10
gorgeous hazelnut-toffee (a reaction to the added vanilla) accented not by salt but by pepper!
runs slightly afoul / septic -- which way to go? regurgitate or defecate? maybe both: a dose of puke & a piece of dook (sorry, just reporting the facts)
ultimately comes out a soothing / creamy Pepto-Bismol™ "to-go"... watermelon-flavored for children (+ cocoa)
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: scabrous marsh
Melt: once again, a quick length from Naive
Flavor   43.2 / 50
sharp salt-toffee gnaws away at some cocoa rock -> beautiful umami'd herbs (olive leaf / savory / marjoram) -> sweet sets-in, without relinquishing the salt, on pronounced cherry-chocolate infused with hazelnut oil -> thin bark backing + soft granite & limestone to hint though never manifest a citrus after-taste (cotton shows instead)
Quality   15.7 / 20
Uganda's big, round kernels -- which almost appear of Criollo heritage except a dark color gives away their truer identity -- attracted the eye of Domantas Uzpalis of Naive. A near-flawless 100% fermentation cinched it for him.

Curious than that he'd elect to a) go below 70% cacáo-content & b) cover it in salt to create a rather rootless disconnection from its source.

The salt too indiscreet, especially for a relatively modest percentage (68% cacáo-content which probably includes 5% to 7% added cocoa butter pad). At almost one-third suger, the configuration is more about 'salt 'n sugar' than a glimpse into a rare origin.

Notwithstanding the herbal sensations et. al., salt here simplifies the matter by over-girding the underlying markers & suppressing them. As is, the fleur de sel forms a membrane that sheaths & occludes. It becomes the amniotic flavor for the bar.

Given that Uganda remains an underserved origin, Naive would do well to ditch or at least reduce the salt in order to highlight what this country's cacáo really has on tap... with the caveat that such a move could defeat the very experimental spirit that exemplifies this fledgling label.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla; fleur de sel

Reviewed May 28, 2012


Pin It on Pinterest