by Palette de Bine
Info Details
Country Canada   
Type Semi-Dark   (+ Flavored)
Source Tanzania   (+ Vietnam)
Flavor Twang   (+ Spices/Herbs)
Style Neo-Modern      
Female Chocolate Diamonds…

Chocolate: a global construct. How global? More like cosmological.

As relayed from a Persian storyteller, a diamond constitutes pure carbon or "actually deposited sunlight". Further, the tales relates, "a diamond is the last & highest of God's mineral creations, just as a woman is the last and highest of God's animated creations.”

Chocolate because of its primal associations of the night & women, therefore, represents moonlight refracted in the greatest flavor on Earth.

Hence the 3 have such a liking for each other.

And as the Diamond Sutra reminds: all composed things are like a dream, a phantom, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning… ephemeral like a chocolate’s melt itself.

A couple chocolate gems here – 1 well-polished from East Africa, the other an overcut Southeast Asia – crafted by a woman halfway around the world in Canada. Because chocolate’s global, indeed all-encompassing, like that.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: Kokoa Kamili Tanzanie 72%: purpled passion
Lam Dong Vietnam: speckled red & silver due to inclusions
Surface: planks with racer stripe
Temper: poised
Snap: practically uncorks it
Aroma   8.4 / 10
Kokoa Kamili Tanzanie 72%
malted goodness on a dry wood-veneer wall, stained with a thin baobab fruit pulp

Lam Dong Vietnam
its subtitled namesake: "smokey, spicy, salty"
Mouthfeel   12.1 / 15
Texture: slightly rubbery
Melt: extended
Flavor   43.5 / 50
Kokoa Kamili Tanzanie 72%
light fruit hangover from the Aroma leads onto cocoa-wood -> equally light juniper & schizandra berries which, mixing with the woods (particularly muhuhu), galvanizes resin & saps -> butter quiets the volatiles in the melt-thru into a caramelized lychee, then tamarind -> nut close

Lam Dong Vietnam
enters the smoke chamber first, followed by salt -> chocolate cuts the haze some but, overcome by rising heat, backs off & retreats into lip-tingling / tongue-numbing pepper -> fruited back-flush revives the senses -> peat moss -> smoked almond
Quality   15.3 / 20
Kokoa Kamili Tanzanie 72%
Kilombero Valley, Morogoro; Varietal Blend
Both Kokoa Kamili (the post-harvest handlers on the ground in Tanzania) and Palette de Bine (the Canadian manufacturer) have upped their games.
Easily the best bar to utilize these seeds. Superior to Barsmiths' & even the Domori from neighboring properties. Furthermore, a contender to eclipse Tenende by Askinosie (that one perhaps a partially accidental achievement) for the finest chocolate yet sourced from all of Tanzania.
A drippy, succulent ferment at the source with a refinement in the workshop commensurate to the task of taming the volatiles into a juicy order.
The amplitude a bit hushed & the range confined (no deep chocolate notes for instance) but what a pleasure craft.
A bar built with major chops that'll have consumers licking theirs.

Lam Dong Vietnam
72% cacáo-content
The ingredients panel only lists "cocoa mass & sugar". Obviously / visibly there's more to it than that. Judging from unadorned Marou's Lâm Đồng, adding smoke, spice & salt strikes as utterly superfluous since all 3 inhere with this cacáo's natural traits. So why bother other than to amplify the FXs & drive up the costs of production. Best to leave well enough alone even if it flatters / accentuates Viet's character.

Reviewed August 20, 2015


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