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Info Details
Country USA   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%; Batch 12-046)
Strain Chuao   
Source Venezuela   (Chuao Valley)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Classic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Talk of nationalizing the cacáo groves, declaring cocoa a “geo-strategic product”, collectivization, production quotas, state price controls, & export bans drive investors & chocolatarians nervous. Unfounded paranoia?

Well, Kai Rosenburg begs to differ.

Consider Choroní, Venezuela along the "Cocoa Coast" that is also home to Chuao, Cuyagua & Ocumare.

There in the midst of the Henri Pittier National Forest, with its multidtude of Criollos, sits his Hacienda Monterosa, a veritable cacáo conservatory. Correction: what was his estate before the Nat’l Guard confiscated it. Would he ever get it back?

And does this serve notice to next-door neighbor William Harcourt-Cooze & other cacaoteros or Bromans who tend the trees?

Could Chavez’s legacy be, in actuality, a reasonable one to, ya know, “spread the wealth around”, Barack-style, which in Venezuela means keep the value-added profits closer to home in the spirit of other in-country chocolate plays (Madécasse; Pacari; Corallo; or the grandfather of them all, Venezuela’s own El Rey)? The nouveau revolutionary-rich.

Ahh, just the complicated politics behind a bar of modern chocolate... to the soundtrack of the Heads’ Once in a Lifetime... “same as it ever was... same as it ever was... same as it ever was”.

And that goes for Chuao. Some things never change, nor should they. Same old Chuao... even in this bar with a slick twist from Rob "Fresco" Anderson.
Appearance   4.9 / 5
Color: opaque rouge
Surface: finely scored & molded in opposing lines ....
Temper: ... to create shimmering optics
Snap: ear popping
Aroma   7.7 / 10
a bit metallic, green & undersized for the varietal (abraded steel, unripe banana peel, alfalfa + green tea) until KA-BOOM!... that all-too-indentifiable Chuao fruit boon
rooted in activated charcoal
Mouthfeel   14.3 / 15
Texture: pure...
Melt: ... save for a tiny minute Nib fragment (the stone in the shoe)
Flavor   45.1 / 50
pretty true to the Aromatics
rocks in a loaded fruit basket (mainly red & purple tangs but no discounting the mango) -> chocolate-charcoal (exceptional) -> plantain (cocoa butter's influence) mixed with greens -> subacid (plum, then granadilla) -> sweet late-breaking blueberry (the tell-tail of the origin)
Quality   17.2 / 20
Bar 217 sounds generic enough; a numeric code for the lab data set.

Then look at the wrapper (click image upper right to enlarge). First image to pop up: oh no, another label sporting an award of some sort, displayed here in a particularly peculair juxtaposition for it obscures what presumably should be the main draw to this bar, viz., the name 'Chuao'.

Nah, for the unsuspecting consumer Chuao means next to nothing. They salivate instead over some prize or medal citation, American Idiot, errr, Idol, errr Idunno style.

Yep, organizations with varying degrees of rigor pass out stickers & stamps nowadays... for a fee of course. Not quite as naked as Planned Parenthood dispensing contraceptives. Nor exactly a bribe such as buying 'em outright -- that'd be too bald a corruption. These are more akin to a lottery: pay an admission fee & see who wins the raffle.

This M.O. infects just about every pixel now on the optic screens, fka 'visual pollution'.

Sports probably leads the charge in this regard. Viewers can hardly see the game for the field littered with so many sponsorship endorsements & corporate logos.

Just as well for it develops increased spatial awareness like multiple targets in a video game & sharpens skills to ignore the superfluous.

With that aside, let's dig in to the essentials of this chocolate.

A downsized Chuao; still full (the flavor flags are there) but with a certain legerity on account, paradoxically, of some copious added butter, ala Bonnat's Chuao. Because of it, this ranks among the most serene Chuaos yet configured, second perhaps only to that "off-campus" Chuao by Domori. This despite a dark Parlus-level roast which transmutes Chuao's hallmark molasses to create those bituminous FXs but, again, offset / balanced considerably by the light-tone cocoa butter. Ditto the astringency which plagues other Chuao's brokered by Chocolate Alchemy.

Since its inception, Rob Anderson's Fresco has been a daring darling of chocophages. This should earn him even more fans.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed November 4, 2013

  

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