Haut Penja, Cameroun

by Marcolini
Info Details
Country Belgium   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%; Nrº Lot 313031)
Strain Amazon   
Source Cameroon   (Domaine Dark Mungo)
Flavor Naked   
Style Classic      
The first origin bar of note from Cameroon.

Strange considering that Cameroon once hosted perhaps the most diverse cacáo collection in the world at the Victoria Botanic Gardens (in current day Limbe). Its cocoa wooed Europeans, especially pastry chefs, for its red brick color which made for visually appetizing cakes.

But like the rest of the Gulf of Guinea around West Africa, intrusions by modern hybrids continue to crowd out the traditional grower's selections, forcing a re-assessment of contemporary breeding programs that generally sacrifice Flavor for productivity... pretty much the story everywhere cacáo grows nowadays.
Appearance   3.6 / 5
Color: no "Camerouge" here, just "Camerbrun" for muddy brown
Surface: severely pelted & welted
Temper: desolate
Snap: tough plank
Aroma   7.8 / 10
big leather, exotic woods (both heavy [afrormosia] & light [reeds]) & coconut shells + cassava
ventilates musky amber cologne, then dried fruit (mango / baobab pulp)
Mouthfeel   13.9 / 15
Texture: those pelts & welts from unadvertised Nibs
Melt: tender bite
Flavor   43 / 50
very comforting
biscuit -> simple cocoa with an easy leather back -> sweet breadfruit -> bush butter (Dacryodes edulis) to butter cream -> recessive red fruit (cherry)
Quality   16.3 / 20
Sandwiched in between Nigeria & Gabon, this Cameroon lacks the tonnage of its neighbors, especially Ghana's glory days (1980s).

From so much erstwhile diversity, Cameroon now tastes rather unitary, almost monotonous, at least in this bar -- a chocolate biscuit. Yet it captivates with a delicate contour, both Texturally & moreover Flavor which streams with cream tones that buffer soft cocoa tannins. And none of it, supposedly, with any extra butter padded (ditto added vanilla); just the natural pitch of this seed allotment.

Indeed, so mild that Marcolini bulks it with Nibs... & they too strike only lightly.

The first bar from Cameroon on the artisan scene. Doubtful it'll be the last. Nor should it.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, Nibs, soy lecithin

Reviewed July 24, 2013


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