Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%; Batch 12060512)
Strain Blend   
Source Belize   (Toledo District; Moho River Valley)
Flavor Crossover   (Bitter-Twang mess)
Style retro-American      
A Mast Bros duet of a song worth repeating because it never gets too old: Cry Me a River
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: magentic pearl
Surface: light smudging
Temper: clouded
Snap: sobbing
Aroma   4.9 / 10
initially tricks of PNG... suckling pig smoked over splintering wood chips, the b-b-q flames doused with cat's piss (sorry) -> settles into green picholine olive (somewhat prevalent elsewhere in Central America though atypical for Belize) + mite soursop -> horned melon peeks thru; generally horrendous
Mouthfeel   10.3 / 15
Texture: granular
Melt: overstays its welcome
Flavor   34.6 / 50
wooden chocolate (that only from Belize sapodilla) -> digs harder & deeper into roots & potted soil -> rice grains fighting for some juice (mainly mango & mamey) -> deteriorates into coffee & dirt + tapioca (strange combo) -> bitter soursop (rare indeed!) -> progression curls away & randomizes into raw cocoa edges (sheet rock / dry wall / limestone / magnesium) -> melt thru allows sugar to balance the bitters out, only to leave a sour stringency -> residual cocoa wood at the rear recesses
Quality   11.9 / 20
O brothers, what art thou wrought?

Sourced from Jeff Pzena's latest venture in Belize: Moho River Cacao, an exporter of local area cacáo to barsmiths in the consuming North. Pzena also runs the nearby Cotton Tree Lodge & Moho Chocolate. Paying premium prices to stakeholders -- K’ekchi or Mopan Maya -- & emphasizing sustainable agroforestry, consider Moho Cacao a fairer, more DirecTrade chocolate.

Pzena acknowledges that the cacáo contained herein comes from the 2011 vintage that experienced some challenges with the ferment. Specifically, trouble retaining rather than draining the pulp to penetrate the seeds. Then, paradoxically, wet weather necessitated 2 whole weeks for drying. The net result: a cocoa of fairly limited inherent flavor. 2012 promises a more consistent harvest.

The Mast Brothers exacerbate the issues.

They take the retro-American style a little too far. Nothing wrong per say with just cacáo & sugar. In fact, prior to 1800, the very definition of 'chocolate' in North America was just cacáo & sugar. Adding vanilla was "scarcely know" according to a report in The Philadelphia Evening Post from the October 9, 1792 edition. But one can bet the small chocolate mills back then performed greater refinement than found in this bar.

The Mast Druthers choose a sub-optimim roast & conch. Particularly the latter which just sleeps on it... stringent & granulated Mouthfeel. A half-job, left unfinished.

Other than the front lip + that tapioca moment which suggest some Criollo heritage in the mix, they deliver the worst of both worlds: insipid flavor of "raw chocolate" & the compromised nutrition of processed chocolate.

A let down all the way around to the good Bromans (re: growers) husbanding cacáo in Belize. By comparison, Cyrila's, a vertically-integrated barsmith with just an electric skillet, a portable grinder & 33% less sugar, paints juicy rainbows around this slug.

A bar that does good more than tastes good.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa, sugar

Reviewed July 26, 2012


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