75% Lachua

by Blue Bandana
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   (75%)
Strain IMC   (?)
Source Guatemala   (Alta Verapaz; Lachua)
Flavor Twang   
Style Old School      
Another barsmith, another origin.

Blue Bandana in Vermont, the artisanal offspring of Lake Champlain Chocolates, ventures to Guatemala, a proud, historic but now underserved source re-emerging after decades of neglect.

There Blue Bandana partners with Q'eqchi' Maya, people of the Chilam Balam (literally “priest-jaguar” or “Spokesman of the Patron”) whose agency acts as protector (Villa Rojas 1945; Barrera Vasquez 1948; Bricker & Miram 2001).

Usually translated as a collection of mytho-historical texts, existing copies of this book contain a great deal of info pertaining to the ancient Maya Calendar & the shamans who maintained it. Contents include daily reminders for diviners, natal charts for each day, rituals associated with each day, the selection, training & initiation of Maya calendar priests, a Maya rosary prayer, a divination prayer, sacrifices at the sacred well of Chi Ch’en Iz’a, auto sacrifice, pilgrimage places, the Maya years & cycles, advice to a woman already seven months pregnant, & Maya family life in general.

Seems no page in the sacred life is left unturned.

The holy version of chocolate, a virtual sacrament in Maya cosmology, seems conspicuously absent in this bar though, missing as if that page from the text was torn out.
Appearance   2.9 / 5
Color: a first -- blanched purple
Surface: basic with swirly-cues on the airside
Temper: frosted
Snap: high peak of the experience... as it all goes downhill from here
Aroma   3.4 / 10
dirty socks, sweaty pig, burnt coffee & the nose bails from there to avert any more… yet more keeps coming -- gets really ghastly with petrol fumes
Mouthfeel   8.6 / 15
Texture: rubbery lumps
Melt: choppy
Flavor   26.9 / 50
petrol leads in, followed by a promising upright cocoa coupled with raisin, only to be engulfed in those putrid hammy tones in the Aroma as well as the gas which seemingly roasts a nut in real-time on the palate -> expectant char -> sour diesel (no, not the vape type, just the fuel variety) -> stringent vice-grip at the finish
Quality   7.2 / 20
Eric Lampman of Blue Bandana acknowledges that this origin bar represents a work-in-progress as locals on the ground in Guatemala hone their skills-of-the-trade to revive the country's once noble cacáo for the modern specialty markets. He & they must prepare for the long haul; the product has a ways to go.

Frankly, Blue Bandana released this prematurely. In their eagerness to announce the partnership between Central & North Americans, the team has skipped the finer details.

Inconsistent post-harvesting (both under & over fermentation) treated to an unkind blast roast. Surprising therefore that Blue Bandana pursues a purist approach in the formulation -- cacáo nuts & sugar only -- when it desperately begs by the latter stages of the processing for the full-monty makeup kit (add'l cocoa butter & vanilla). Apparently they really want to play in the pro league… with or without the prerequisites.

Potential lingers about nonetheless, especially that chocolate raisin impression, just in need of development & reconfiguration.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed November 24, 2014


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