Roberto's Recipe

by Kallari-Sacha
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type Dark   (75%)
Strain Blend   
Source Ecuador   (Napo River Valley; Salinas de Guaranda)
Flavor Crossover   
Style New School      
Roberto's Recipe honors of late Robert Steinberg of Scharffen Berger Chocolate.

In his book The Essence of Chocolate, co-authored with partner John Scharffen-Berger, the duo relay how Pilgrims enroute to Plymouth Rock sailed via Amsterdam where they stayed near some of the city’s renowned chocolate plants. They dubbed chocolate ‘the Devil’s food’ because to them it represented evil, indulged the senses & distracted from work as well as worship.

To spite them on their way out of the country, Dutch bakers named a chocolate cake “Devil’s Food”.

Judy Logback (with a doctorate in, aptly enough, forestry) & her team at Kallari-Sacha create an angular & stern chocolate here that pours a little naturally infused-alcohol into this bar that the Pilgrims might've considered less than satanic, & could even excuse as a necessary evil seeing how they drank spirits because those were safer than the contaminated water of their day

Oh, deception is a helluva drug.
Appearance   3.4 / 5
Color: clay brown
Surface: functional
Temper: recessed
Snap: slightly muffled
Aroma   8.1 / 10
a duplicate of its 85% sib but "darker" / "browner" thanks to the sweetener (see Quality section below)
Mouthfeel   11.8 / 15
Texture: latex
Melt: stringent finish
Flavor   41.2 / 50
raw cocoa edges & rubber -> direct hit of vanilla bourbon, emphasis on bourbon (nice) & big oak -> macerated cherry -> medicinal moment & a rather efficacious one at that in the context of the foregoing -> vanilla loses its steam as the bar reverts back to a raw state but with an overlay of stewed prune skin
Quality   15.4 / 20
The original recipes of Robert Steinberg at S-B confected a) the lost art of varietal blends that he learned at Bernachon (which Kallari accesses in the veritable cacáo diversity of Ecuador's Napo River basin); b) vanilla to achieve a cherry top-note that matches the preferences of the Mid-America palate (vanilla also added to this bar); & c) a certain busyness / complexity / jumble... lots going on (again, due to blending various cacáos from various sources).

Kallari feigns if not renounces the latter, then sins away on some other fronts.

Raw cane sugar never figured prominently in Robert's ingredients list. And this bar propels a strong interaction between raw sugar (its caramelizing molasses intact) & heavy vanilla (a Kallari specialty) while cacáo provides minor, though not insignificant, accents. Especially its under fermented / astringent quality that galvanizes the alcoholic impressions (e.g., that macerated cherry).

As such, an effective cover-up job for otherwise lax work across the board. The use of make-up might draw a stern rebuke from the Pilgrims but Robert Steinberg can rest peacefully without spinning in his grave over it.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, raw sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla; CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): ~1:2:1

Reviewed February 27, 2013


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