Info Details
Country Netherlands   
Type Dark-Milk   (55% cacáo-content)
Strain Amazon   
Source Congo   (Beni Mavivi Nat’l Park)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Classic      
the C-spot® often likens Milk Chocolate to the feminine principle for various reasons from historical, cultural, as well biological.

With this Femmes de Virunga ("Women of Virunga" [Congo]), Original Beans (OB) throws down a double-entendre.

The name pays homage of course to the women of that area. It also signifies the gender characteristic of all Milk Chocolates. While both are respectful, this site refuses to traffic in sentimental "narratives" about tall, proud African women who happily balance bushels of cocoa seeds on their head. Not to say that Original Beans engages in that even as its mission improves their livelihoods, for it knows all too well the hard stark facts: harvesting cacáo by the metric tonnes equals a back-breaking bitch. Anyone who wishes to maintain naiveté, just go to the bevy of blogs out there for faux accounts that pass for online reportage to find out otherwise.

True African Infrastructure: rural women transporting sacks filled with cocoa to port (urbanite victims of the War on Women: DO NOT try this on busy avenues); photo from the USC Libraries’ Basel Mission Image Archive

That aside, if Felchlin, the partner with OB that manufactures this bar, performed some massive balloon-sized mammaplasty on its last Costa Rican Milk Chocolate, it reverses the procedure here & trims it back significantly.

Indeed, in this era of indefinite sex selection, here's a Dark-Milk bar that'll have consumers guessing as to its gender: lady, woman, or female?

Or maybe none of the above.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: mulberry blush
Surface: serviceable
Temper: OB's trademark dim-lit sun
Snap: alto
Aroma   9.5 / 10
pastry & bread bakery / creamery-fromagerie rolled into one extendo cone
as much savory as sweet / main dish as dessert, & vice-versa
wondrously toasted buttered breadcrumbs + a caramelized flint straight from the oven
goes vegetal green (tea & fern)
none of the typical vanilla-drvien, milk-powdered casein kidz mix
Mouthfeel   13.1 / 15
Texture: turgid
Melt: natural curvature / pulchritude (none of the overly-inflated feel of silicon / lecithin)
Flavor   46 / 50
the Aromatics continue on the tongue
deep mulberry-caramel driving toward coffee -> a combo of jujube-Congo cocoa, then colored to an ever deeper clove-caramel… so far all in a classic nod to Original Bean's 70% Dark Virunga… meanwhile dairy creams envelop into, not a Milk Dud®, but a Milk Stud™ -> butterscotches out toward an adult Tootsie Roll® with fungi (forest mushroom) -> topped off by chocolate cream frosting
Quality   17.7 / 20
It might contain Femme in the name but plenty of masculine tone to the taste. Yet another one of those 'yab-yums'… (that spiritual term for divine sexual union).

Astounding equilibrium. So equipoised, few rival it in this respect…. Fruition, Hotel Chocolat among the select class. A bar that equilibrates ideally between Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate to practically function as the fulcrum on which the Dark-Milk category hinges.

By omitting vanilla, Original Beans (OB) / Felchlin avoid any camp in generating a serious caramel that relies strictly on the interaction twixt cow & cacáo; an adult play instead of the usual childish schtick.

Really aligns the crosshairs squarely taking dead aim & just kills it with flavor, leaving no entry or exit holes. The sound of the silencer is that of mouths shut & hushed during the meltdown.

Femmes de Virunga… a 'lady killer' in the sense of some fine sweet murder at the hands of Virungan femme fatales.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder

Reviewed October 7, 2014


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