Sal Prieta
Sal Ahumada
Chocolate Blanco

by Angovi
Info Details
Country Ecuador   
Type (+ Flavored)
Strain EET   
Source Ecuador   (Los Rios; Montalvo; Hacienda La Culebra)
Flavor Crossover   
Style New School      
Everyone knows there are 5 senses: sight, smell, sound, touch & taste. The last of these subdivides into sweet / sour / salt / umami &, as of late, fat. Neuroscientist Prof. Don Katz of Brandeis University says that's all caca in Multisensory Perception: The Building of Flavor Representations published in Current Biology.

Katz spent the past decade investigating the sense of smell & taste, & concludes humans have only one sense: a chemosensory system.

His team uses optogenetics — a technique that allows for control of neural cells with light — to turn off the primary olfactory (scent) & gustatory (flavor) cortexes in the brain. In doing so, the neural codes / pathways can be shut down to the point where nothing, even familiar foods, can be sensed at all. It all adds up to a total perceptual experience rather than any individual sense. One system with multiple gateways. That's the theory at least.

This conforms with sentimental '1 people; 1 world; 1 Godhead' (hey, even secularists remain trapped in apocalyptic myths of the past by relying on new ones like Nuclear Armageddon & Climate Change Meltdown).

Angovi shreds & re-segments such notions in a modern day version of chocolate Babylon because variety is, after all, the chocolate of life.
Appearance   3.7 / 5
Color: Miraflores: crimson-brown
Mocache: pansy
Sal Prieta: vermillion beauty
Sal Ahumada: yet one more in the red
Chocolate Blanco: lemon ivory
Surface: molten with voids
Temper: semi-gloss
Snap: adamant
Aroma   7.9 / 10
archetypal Ecuador forest meadow uptake with a rare difference -- a bowling alley!
that's right, everything from the varnished hardwood floor to the polyurethane bowling balls & pins, including even the shoes

animated; similar though distinct to Miraflores (above) minus the bowling alley
if this were a bed rather than a bar, there's be raunch all over it

Sal Prieta
dry bark & deep tannins + clean dirt with a raisin head on 'em

Sal Ahumada
chocolate at the crossroads
malted tannins (unusual in itself) x green fudge, all of which subsume a charred raisin!

Chocolate Blanco
an inviting shock of dark cocoa in butter (of true chocolate waft) prior to unwelcome by-product wastes
Mouthfeel   11.8 / 15
Texture: retarded
Melt: clumps & curds
Flavor   46.6 / 50
75% cacáo-content
myriad-florals... dried apricot petals before a pretty direct aromatic transfer, right down to the sneakers
add coconut (shell, shreds, et. al.)
late-bloom passion fruits

Despite the bowling-in-the-jungle aspects, a considerable chocolate; well-structured; with a sense, seemingly, of self-identity.

75% cacáo-content
warm mead spices -> marinated cherry -> brandy -> oak cask -> vanilla -> peat -> sweetens into a besotted fruit cake -> forest herbals in the tail -> bromeliad leaves a semi-stringent grip

What a complex. Damn, scaffolds a manifold. Continual stream of tremendous potency. Absolutely noteworthy. Close to a 5-star bar.

Sal Prieta
65% cacáo-content
those oak cask / brandy aspects of Mocache (above) flood the zone then lighten to grape & starfruit analogs bound by twine -> baby pineapple -> raw green elements at the back -> clears roasted hazelnuts

A half 'n half bar of the Miraflores + Mocache (above) deftly spiced with a culinary blend containing zest, nuts, herbs & seasonings. Terrific seamless inclusions that check the 35% sugar. First trimester particularly robust to fool of 70%+.

Sal Ahumada
a very cool spice-green cocoa entrance, sweet underlying persimmon sneaks up, so too honey + resinous sap to conjure up a marmalade loaded with pectin -> citric caramel (intriguing)

Another eye-opener that borders on stunning. Yes, the same 50-50 blend as the Prieta (above) comprised of the Miraflores/Mocache but without the additive payload, just some smoked salt that plays sweeter / calmer on the chocolate base.

Chocolate Blanco (White Chocolate)
the aroma pre-figures the initial bite -- true chocolate -- followed on by warm golden cocoa butter -> melt-thru grows complicated as caustic dairy solids interfere, though not without some added side benefits like sweet umami FXs

Suspect milk solids momentarily hamper an otherwise great White. And, perhaps, because of them the windup on this tickles the savory nerves.
Quality   18 / 20
During a roundtable of several in-country brands from Ecuador, this label -- Angovi -- stood out. The reviews here re-confirm those initial impressions.

Sourced from 2 provinces -- 1 Los Rios, the other Bolivar -- for a flavor of the highlands & more coastal lowlands, then fermented centrally at Hacienda Culebra prior to a private label processor.

All this requires an formidable team to pull off flavor outcomes of this caliber. Angola clearly assembled some talent here, ranging from cacáo scouts to chefs & financiers. The results show.

Other than fraught ancillaries (particularly Texture but Moulding & Packaging too), an upstart producing near-world level chocolate. One needs to go back to the early precocious days of Brasstown or even Patric to find such excellence in a novice.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin (for the 2 semi-sweet "Sals", add condiments; for Chocolate Blanco add milk)

Reviewed December 28, 2016


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