Rio Caribe

by Szántó Tibor
Info Details
Country Hungary   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%)
Strain Criollo   (generalized structure group)
Source Venezuela   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (x Spices/Herbs)
Style retro-American      
The famed Coromoto Ice-Cream in the highland town of Merida, Venezuela, listed in the Guinness World Records book for its 863 different flavors, closed its shop due to a shortage of its key ingredient: milk.

Hugely popular for its exotic & strange combos ranging from beer to beans, Coromoto suffers from the same acute shortages as other basic goods in the country like toilet-paper & spare tires -- the consequence of an economic slowdown, the highest inflation in the Americas, & strict currency controls.

The gov’t points to political foes among the wealthy who, it claims, exacerbate economic problems by hoarding & price-gouging.

Only 3 bars herein from Szántó Tibor but they contain an entire world of different flavors for this origin. So much so that Guinness might want to look into this.
Appearance   3.9 / 5
Color: pale red eye
Surface: airside divots & bubbles
Temper: tired
Snap: in the minor key of subdued
Aroma   8.1 / 10
as usual for Venezuela, generally reclined although somewhat stoked here due to Szántó Tibor's backed-off processing
for example, Rio Caribe elicits caramelized bromeliad fronds & Carenero some puke spot under a billowing tobacco; even Porcelana, renowned for regal reserve, smacks the nares around
Mouthfeel   12.3 / 15
Texture: micro-pearl exfoliants
Melt: longer than expected thanks to added cocoa butter
Flavor   45.6 / 50
Rio Caribe
indiscriminate young cocoa (quasi-raw / green) just sits in the pocket surrounded by a spice ring (nutmeg / cinnamon / coriander)
little of the full-bodied robustness so characteristic of the cultivar

caramel & candy corn right off, plus a wisp of cotton candy (nice entree) -> puffs up red dragon fruit -> descends into a raspberry reduction -> mite back mold, husk / hull -> limestone -> inexplicably blossoms forth papaya -> geranium post-script
fun & engaging & then some

stoned cocoa (grinding stoned) -> cottons together soft fabrics -> fleeting strawberry -> persimmon (slight tannic caustic / drying effect) -> blue vein of blue cheese in a frangipani backdrop (special)
a Porcelana unlike just about any other; by no means an exemplar of the varietal… in some respects it cuts against its intrinsic traits without annihilating them but, still, quite transmogrifying
one genuinely creative interpretation on this venerable cacáo
Quality   18.1 / 20
Some brilliant weirding going on.

Europe's closest equivalent to Japan's Minimal which is Asia's closest equivalent to the Italian Donna Elvira which is… well, because chocolate travels globally / circularly like that.

An easy grind & just a lap-dance of a churn leaves lots of flavor tags on the table. But Venezuela's superior genetic stock furnishes the latitude that allows for a Szántó Tibor approach to barsmithing & still come up with the goods of near-supreme flavor. So where its Nicaragua Sweep strikes as stark & austere, these bars avoid such.

Szántó Tibor possesses a very individualized style. Some may consider these bars as mistakes / mishaps but that'd be a misconception. They're carefully calibrated &, though by no means conventional, incredibly consummate so by the whole experience, the flavor points interrelate & make sense.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed JUly 22, 2015


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