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Cacáo Nuts

by Nahua
Info Details
Country Costa Rica   
Type Beans   
Strain Blend   (ICS; TSH; EET; R Clonal Series; +)
Source Costa Rica   (Alajuela; Bijagua de Upala)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   (the latter)
Style Old School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Millenials thinks simulation started with The Matrix. The Art of War by Sun Tzu, a Chinese general who lived 2,600 years ago, contains this reality: "We live in a culture of simulation, in which nothing is what it seems & the image that reigns has no reference to the real world.”

Cacáo Nuts, as the primogenitors of the chocolate, bring it back home -- far from the slick-glitz packaging of bars. Eating them is like quitting smoking: everything regains its flavor; taste buds paved beneath decades of tar 'n nicotine (or sugar & fat in the case of chocolate, & sometimes salt) spring back to life & an entire sense restored.

But Cacáo Nuts often amount to adventure without clear direction. A randomized killing spree unleashing havoc.

These, by contrast, thankfully, underwhelm & thereby over-deliver.
Appearance   4.8 / 5


Color: bark with orange-pink hues on the skin; uniformly dark, almost black, interiors
Surface: several jumbos with a few toddlers; mainly flats
Temper: well-dried; hardly any incrustation
Snap: semi-resistent shells
Aroma   8.3 / 10
just a tad vinegar in this largely non-vinaigrette mix
instead soft woods, paper, pencil shavings, supple leather predominate… all fit for a librarian
classic Nib banana-head under the shell
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: tough crunch
Melt: wet meal
Flavor   45 / 50
banana / faint citrus -> grows savory green / herbal / salad with purslane the bridge from the citrus to the green -> light bitter Earth / dirt (top soil) -> woods out
Quality   17.2 / 20
Several nice aspects & virtually no offending ones. Simply put, a well-cultivated seed mix from Amistad Estate in Costa Rica (CR). 75 hectares growing 36 compatible types including ICSs 1, 39, 60, 95; EET 400; TSH 465 + the highly-touted R-clonal Series bred by the local CATIE gene bank.

These cacáo nuts the prequel to Felchlin's Grand Cru CR which finds a sequel in Nahua's own Dark Chocolate bar (soon to follow in a pending review -- stay tuned).

The center point herbal tone creates a healthy, savory side bracketed by fleeting citrus at the front (the precursors to peach-like tags) & soft girding at the finish.

The only issue: no cocoa notes to speak of, not even latent ones. Which means a challenger cacáo in terms of a finished bar as already evidenced in the aforementioned Felchlin. The Earthen & wooden impressions that come to dominate the tail substitute for a cocoa bottom-end.

All adds up to an attractive cacáo nut but a limited chocolate bar.

INGREDIENTS: cacáo nuts

Reviewed August 5, 2014

  

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