Chocolate Covered Cocoa Beans

by Pralus
Info Details
Country France   
Type Beans   (Chocolate-covered)
Strain Trinitario   (TSH)
Source Tobago   (Roxborough; Tobago Cocoa Estate W.I. Ltd.)
Flavor Sugar   (re: candied; practically shocking for category)
Style Mainstream      
Beans* for & from a gum ball machine.

* Chocolate craft begins with cacáo seeds (oft-dubbed “Jungle M&Ms”) from zeppelin-shaped fruits referred to as ‘pods’. Botanists loosely categorize them an epigynous berry or pepo.

Technically it qualifies as an indehiscent fruit, defined as that which does not open at maturity but relies on predators (like man or monkey) or decay to release the seeds. That certainly describes cacáo.

A cacáo seed stores the potential to germinate & propagate. Once the fermentation process (click 'Read More' toward the bottom of the link-page) kills that potential, the standard convention refers to the former cacáo seed as a 'cocoa bean', a misnomer since a) the term 'bean' is technically reserved for leguminous plants & b) the seeds of indehiscent fruits are commonly considered nuts rather than beans.

But 'cocoa nut' however forms a homonym with 'coconut' & sounds confusing.

So to elevate cacáo to its proper place & extol the great efforts of growers / Bromans around the world, this site will henceforth adopt the usage of 'cacáo seeds' pre-fermenttion & 'cacáo nuts' for post-fermention.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: true chocolate brown
Surface: almond shape & size
Temper: hi-glaze (curious, since the list of ingredients -- see below -- contains no glossing or lacquering agents [typically some glucose solution])
Snap: n/a
Aroma   7.8 / 10
unusual: bubble gum, yeasty hops, & fish stock
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: dry bite & crunch
Melt: ultimately somewhat papery (unwinnowed shells)
Flavor   45.8 / 50
sweet tooth (candy corn & corn, malt & malt balls) -> recessed bubble gum -> mild bitter -> blows up bigger gum (grape flavored) -> light top-soil, sand & fiber -> calm yet disinfecting astringent film signals the end
Quality   17.4 / 20
Well-grooved & panned.

Notwithstanding the sanitation controversy of Paul A. Young's Whole Bean Chocolate Bar, these apparently unwinnowed rocks seem perfectly steam-cleaned or at least uncontaminated, in line with Tom Pedersen's wholesome-tasting Kakawa cacáo nuts.

A chocolate coating of medium-thin gauge indicates only a couple iterations on the spin.

The formulation nIcely balances the sugar incorporated in the chocolate coating to neutralize any aggressive aspects of the whole cacáo nuts within (already ameliorated by Tobago Estates' meticulous cultivation & post-harvesting).

Duane Dove, the island proprietor of this cacáo, rises to the level of a steward of the top order for planting varietals in relative seclusion from one another. The fruits of his labor shine thru in these polished gems.

INGREDIENTS: whole cacáo nuts, 70% chocolate (cocoa mass, 30% sugar, cocoa butter), lecithin

Reviewed July 15, 2014


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