Río Caribe

by Franceschi
Info Details
Country Venezuela   
Type Dark   (tone for 60%)
Strain (Carenero; Río Caribe)
Source Venezuela   (Barlovento; Paria, Sucre State)
Flavor Naked   (+ thin Fruits / Flowers)
Style Mainstream      
The currency bazaar / bizarre in Venezuela since the Chavistas rose to power gives literal meaning to the term Freakonomics. An intentional weirding of prices & incentives that ultimately distorts into inflation, long lines, & twisted politics (such as no economist in the gov’t cabinet; that leaves monetary policy in the hands of a Ouija Board of Directors). According to Harvard Prof. Ricardo Hausmann, Venezuela “has the most ridiculous exchange-rate differential ever in the history of mankind”. To be distinct, Chavez himself craved, so that’s quite a feat.

60% cacáo-content also strikes as equally unusual. Few Venzy bars go that low nor have the need to because the origin's cultivars show so benign with just modest amounts of sugar.

And yet the storied Franceschi family offers a couple single-seed chocolates here in that Semi-Dark range & more elsewhere that taste… well, quite distinguished & deceptive.
Appearance   4.5 / 5
Color: relatively pale, as expected for 40% sugar
Surface: brush-stroked; sub-bubbles
Temper: cosmetician quality
Snap: easy
Aroma   7.4 / 10
paper, pencil & eraser…. get set to write on some 'choc board' kids
rises up chocolate dragon-fruit; coffee grounds along the break lines

Río Caribe
forested from the subsoil up thru the lower tree trunks
leavens into latex
Mouthfeel   13.2 / 15
Texture: rich despite so much sugar
Melt: slow hand… errrr, slow tongue
Flavor   43.9 / 50
sweet mocha -> whispering dragon-fruit, enough though to cut the darkness & the stolid Texture -> roasted almond -> honey -> finishes strawberry blush

Río Caribe
chocolate + flash red berries on the side -> Bisquick® shifts to bolder coffee, char on the fringes -> earlier fruit somehow manages to hover in the background -> drops down to brownies without letting go of sweetness… indeed it rallies those berries for the finale
Quality   17.7 / 20
At 60% & pedestrian packaging, these presumably form part of Franceschi's budget line along with this Sur del Lago. A compatible pair here whose inordinate sugar content belies their strength.

Lot 140909
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter
A cacáo hiding behind sugar when it has little need to, in a case of Carenero Inferior complex. Even so this bar conveys enough of the varietal's character to merit more of it, as in a high percentage, such as Franceschi's Carenero 70%.

Río Caribe
Lot 140911
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter
Classic Caribe over easy with the added sugaring. Given its more stout character it can accommodate the cane. A fine intro to both premium chocolate generally & this cultivar specifically.

Reviewed April 17, 2015


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