by Szántó Tibor
Info Details
Country Hungary   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Indio Rojo   
Source Honduras   
Flavor Spices & Herbs   (green things)
Style retro-American      
Szántó Tibor classifies the cocoa in this bar as Cacáo rojo (click image at right to enlarge), rojo meaning 'red' in Spanish. Rojo cacáo covers a lot of territory in Central America. A bit of an ambiguity, it can refer to different varietals depending on country & locale.

Red symbolically denotes blood with which chocolate gained association in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Everyone from warriors & royalty to human sacrificial victims (though they themselves might consider it an honor to die that way) partook in its significance as such.

The country of Hungary, from where Szántó Tibor operates, enjoys an equally gory history.

Transylvanian György Dózsa was eaten alive in 1514 as punishment for leading a peasant revolt to avenge mistreatment by their landlords. When the revolt was suppressed at Temesvár, the nobility tortured him worse than John "Braveheart" Wallace by seating him on a heated throne of iron, with a hot iron crown on his head & a hot scepter in his hands to mock his kingly pretension while hot irons were inserted into his abdomen & limbs. They then forced Dózsa followers to suck on his insides. Those who refused received the same treatment as he endured.

Years later, Elizabeth Báthory – aka the “Blood Countess” -- of the Kingdom of Hungary became arguably the most prolific female serial killer ever. Folklore tells that her tub overflowed with the blood of her victims which she used as a rejuvenative skin lotion. For that she earned the modern nickname Countess Dracula. She could've spared them by bathing in chocolate instead.

Here's a cold-blooded vampire bar that transfuses the arteries with "green" chocolate.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: crimson-brown
Surface: marred & scarred
Temper: fudged glycerin
Snap: timber quality
Aroma   7.8 / 10
ricotta cheesecake discarded in the woods amidst an underbrush of a salty marsh in a clear violation of the Forest Service's 'pack-it-in / pack-it-out' policy
sprouts a spiced-hops flower
Mouthfeel   10.6 / 15
Texture: granular & insubstantial
Melt: hasty with a couple Nib fragments
Flavor   37.9 / 50
slow starter… green raw cocoa with leaf samples included -> green walnut -> green olive -> saline solution with a cold iron supplement -> intermittent cider vinegar -> wincing black olive that flirts with balsamic raisin -> wood finish (Gliricidia septum aka blackwood)
Quality   13.6 / 20
Despite the rojo name tag, this the many shades of green in brown chocolate.

Another cacáo verde ('green cacáo') from Szántó Tibor who prefers minimal processing which, depending on the seed type, reduces the results to a semi-raw state. His approach generally sacrifices the length considerably.

The promised citrus & red berries (click image upper right to enlarge) never truly materialize, especially anything citric which would be rather counter-indicated for the origin. Acetic acid buildup therefore substitutes. Olives however are very much in keeping with the Central America.

Anyone looking to get their anti-oxidants on will prize this underachiever of generally clean flavor.

Reviewed January 13, 2014


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