Info Details
Country Lithuania   
Type Dark   (78%; Lot 0010)
Strain Nacional   
Source Peru   (Marañón Canyon)
Flavor Naked   
Style Classic      
The White Album of chocolate (yes, that's the wrapper image to click on the right).

And, no, not because Domantas Uzpalis of Naive thinks there's some retro-Revolution going on Back in the USSR, close to his home in Lithuania. Or life's all Ob-la-di, ob-la-da. Nor does he suffer from a certain blues guitarist's sweet-tooth for Savoy Truffles.

Just call him Mother Nature's Son, tickling himself crazy with these cacáo seeds -- the offspring of the mother tree that gained fame as Fortunato #4. Thus so enthralled, he writes fables & fantasies about them for his liner notes.

But to paraphrase a lyric about another mother: half of what he says is meaningless, but he says it just to reach you.... (Ditto this very website.)

The other half naturally conveys pure truth.

Same as this bar.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: paradoxical... burnt pastel sienna
Surface: dynamic with micro grease splatter
Temper: reflecting pool (plastic wrapper transfer only heightens the FXs)
Snap: loud & sharp for such a thin pour
Aroma   8.9 / 10
panko breadcrumbs, cream, & a rare oddity of another paradox: dried fruit fresh off the vine
generalized as a breadfruit custard
oxidizes wet dog before a li'l yabba dabba doo flintstone
Mouthfeel   13.4 / 15
Texture: virgin cashmere
Melt: possibly the succulent grail
Flavor   43.9 / 50
smoked cocoa -> coffee -> background wisps of a white petal -> fleeting fruit (lone moraberry) -> grains -> subtle sapote -> some kind of herbal green apparition (blanched asparagus?) -> teasing sweetness trying to break on thru.... soft candy against stonewerks -> pseudo Dark-Milk finish flushes into a white-out
Quality   16.7 / 20
Only the 2nd artisan barsmith to craft these seeds from Marañón Canyon, Peru into chocolate; genuine Nacionals that created marketing buzz upon its release in 2011 & a subject for CNN's Anthony Bourdain program (to be broadcast this weekend, June 2, 2013... yea, the C-spot® now provides Public Service Announcements for chocofiends worldwide).

Finally a barsmith grants this site's wish to ramp up the cacáo-content on the origin. The only bitter disappointment -- in a nearly bitter-free chocolate -- stems from that it took so long.

Compared to French Broad's version, this feels over-processed however & rubs out much of the finery from a delicate cacáo. Yet the pedigree remains undeniable to shine forth.

For instance, Naive toasts it but the bar still renders a rather Piura white countenance.

Also, 60 hours in the conche here versus 20 hours at French Broad explains more than just the ultra-luxurious Texture. It means every flavor aspect becomes indeterminate / indefinite while this bar searches the subliminal recesses. Ergo, the ambiguous descriptors. It's all back there though... hovering.

Consider the astringency, virtually none to begin with, except a faint influence at the very end. Even the scant bitterness tastes refined. The flirting fruits; the savored herbs, & umami moment. All just micro-dots.

A bar that hums quietly & rides the slow lane along a core chocolate rail of sustained continuity. Multi-taskers who walk briskly, talk rapidly, & cogitate faster than both of those activities combined won't get it until they halt the mindless typeractivity & tiny pinterest & take it in. Ahhhhhhhh, bodhi consciousness has its own rewards.

Short of great this Peru Nacional... in the vein of the Good 'n Evil version of this origin... & no shame in that. Just the opposite. Marañón starting to shadow Chuao in that, while someone can do harm to it, it can practically do no wrong thru it.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Reviewed May 31, 2013


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