Bolivia and Hispaniola

by Hummingbird
Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Semi-Dark   (70% [Batches 136 & 137])
Strain (Benianao [+ hybrids]; La Red)
Source (Bolivia; Dominican Republic)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style retro-American      
This little tweetie hovers close to ground level & its harmonics warble a bit -- perhaps a little drunk (see Flavor below) -- but, my, how it flies.

A Chocolate Daily Double –- 2 reviews in 1. Overall rating & metrics (upper right) reflect a composite average of each bar's individual measures.
Appearance   3.8 / 5
Color: Bolivia: strange, instead of the usual Beniano hue, a Madagascan orange
Hispaniola: polychrome brown
Surface: brush-stroked
Temper: diminishing
Snap: Bolivia: sand
Hispaniola: spirited
Aroma   6.6 / 10
petrified…. literally
no chocolate signage at all, just a rock quarry in the side of a mountain

pork spit-roast in a cinder-block pit -> beer keg on the side (re: yeast)
Mouthfeel   11.9 / 15
Texture: Bolivia: lays it down thick & heavy pudding
Hispaniola: powdered
Melt: Bolivia: plodding
Hispaniola: swollen & round
Flavor   45.3 / 50
stones werks -> cocoa nuts growing like weeds in the cracks -> dried honey catalyzes a very light plum flesh (no skin) -> limestone juice (yes, the possibility of squeezing blood from a rock exists) -> plum brandy, on the rocks naturally, with a fitting stringent grip

cocoa rum (real nice) -> subtle fruit drop (sapote) -> molasses drip caramelizes the whole profile… loses strength without altogether losing flavor -> low apricot-rum crescendo -> grape-must encore to a very clean cutoff
Quality   17.4 / 20
Beniano (+ hybrids)
Alto Bení; Palos Blancos
Inauspicious beginning, never fully correct (typical of Alto Beni from the CIAAB Co-op) but fares far better than anticipated so by the end it conforms as an exemplar of retro-American chocolate style. Incredibly cool roast, stone grinding all the way, & practically swaddled in the lap of the conch. A raw-ish contour that nonetheless breaks the threshold just onto this side of flavor formation for Bolivian cacáo, viz., those purple fruit markers.

La Red cultivars;
Los Pajones, María Trinidad Sánchez Province
A second bar straddling the raw edge. Some special impressions though -- classic La Red rum, apricot, chocolate… c'mon. Yeah, chaos looms just over the horizon (coral / yeast) & stays there, a reminder of just how fragile chocolate ecology is.

Capsule Summary: 2 semi-alcoholics. They're all right (perhaps for all the wrong reasons). Technically unconventional though not incorrect, & thus gastronomically rewarding. While the harmonics go off in some disparate ways, they hang together communally.

Working with the standard, basic kitchen gear (the now-ubiquitous Cankenstein-CocoaTown kit) yet Hummingbird owns a unique house-signature-- very dynamic / animated -- & because of its otherness, riveting.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed March 16, 2015


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