Raw Arriba

by Szántó Tibor
Info Details
Country Hungary   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%)
Strain Hybrid   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   (x Astringency)
Style Old School      
Astringency in chocolate usually signals poor post-harvest handling (either under or even un-fermented cocoa).

The genius of the boutique artisanal scene lies in taking a defect & pronouncing it a virtue. Such as substituting "astringency" with the more folksy sounding "notes of green banana" (click image upper right to enlarge). To complete the switch, repeat often enough, then pass out ribbons & stars to such products so it becomes codified. "Co-packer" represents another one (more on that in a forthcoming review).

Soon it gets over under the fallacy of politeness, or blind ignorance.

But when did "green banana" rise to the level of desirable trait? Even monkeys know better to wait until a banana ripens to yellow because it's both sweeter & easier to peel.

Ahhh, the chocoscenti… so clever.

Would a monkey spit this "raw" bar out knowing that it features hints of "green banana"?
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: appealing creamy-biege
Surface: clean formation
Temper: semi-flat
Snap: pre-Snapped in transit (broken into shards)
Aroma   5.9 / 10
cold, damp, green, & fungi... like hundreds of other un-roasted bars littering the grocery shelves but with a gaseous diesel exhaust (where were these beans dried? on the side of a petroleum refinery?)
on the bright side, it lends a kind of refried bean, dare say, caramelized-cocoa scent
Mouthfeel   11.6 / 15
Texture: powder trap
Melt: waste dispersal
Flavor   37.3 / 50
cinnamon-cocoa turns over instantly into raw slag -> retains some of the spice before soil, dirt & spores assert themselves -> green banana, the euphemism for stringent finish
Quality   13.8 / 20
While problematic, shortcomings in general are not necessarily a violent taste-breaker. Sometimes, albeit rarely, they miraculously work together as in the example of another so-called Arriba bar. Count this one now by Szántó Tibor as another.

Considering the source, the probable seed type, & the truncated processing, this avoids being yet another victim-of-"raw" product.

Yeah, the thing tastes aborted (huh, never ate an abortion? that's the next delicacy coming right alongside mother's milk at the local deli) & with warts, flaws, deficiencies,, starting with Texture on down the line, yet the Flavor still congeals fairly well under the circumstances.

All in keeping with its "raw" character.

Reviewed December 4, 2013


Pin It on Pinterest