Oro Verde
Cedeño Farm
Åkesson's Estate

by Sol Cacao
Info Details
Country USA   
Type Dark   
Strain Hybrid   
Source Peru   (+ Ecuador; + Madagascar)
Flavor Twang   (in the main)
Style Neo-Modern      
Introducing the Maloney Brothers of Sol Cacao / Harlem Craft Chocolate.

The address on their package puts them in the middle of the Union Theological Seminary on upper Broadway (that’s some holy shit). The actual chocolate factory is somewhere on the other side of the river in The Bronx. Probably a function of economics.

Downtown Manhattan, where a hole-in-the wall rents for $30,000+/month, sits pretty much off limits for any enterprise that isn't a bank, franchise, or laundering front. Call it the Manhattan Mall FX.

With affordable properties, The Bronx attracts start-ups. Does it really matter where a label crafts chocolate? No.

Plus Harlem USA still carries cultural caché despite shifting sands of demographics, waves of gentrification & tides of social ferment… all the price of multi-cultural diversity & the mixology dilemna of The Other aspiring to the “non-Other” while neither wishing to get close to it nor relinquish its Otherness. Change, always, the constant variable; & its flipsidekick, Intolerance, unless a 0-sum 1-way benefit accrues, as the recipient. Who knew such academic theory could hurt, even torture.


The aorta in the New World to the African Diaspora – West 125th Street, home to the Apollo Theater, The Studio Museum of Harlem, & the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Fed Bldg – now encroached upon by massive re-development as landlord (or landlady? how’s trans-neutral landed-gentry?) Columbia University overruns & appropriates black mecca. Selling out has its costs. Subsidized by student loan-debt re-invested via institutional endowment funds, the confluence of deep cash flows to corporate colleges. Smart. A quarter million per for room, board, tuition & all expenses paid. The education of fuck education.

Dunno if a li’l craft chocolate op here preserves or destroys heritage in the ‘hood. (Please, no chocolate Harlem tropes.)

Whatever, everyone could use a marketing hook in 21st century branding.

The chocolate hooks too: solid.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: Oro Verde: deep ruby brown
Cedeño Farm: ebony
Åkesson's Estate: medium burnt orange
Surface: a confab of minor bumps, pin holes, & release marks
Temper: hi-gloss
Snap: sheared force
Aroma   8 / 10
Oro Verde
70% cacáo-content; Peru
beautific floral, cherrywood (fruit & bark)

Cedeño Farm
70% cacáo-content; Ecuador
minimal... wisp of mint & cocoa

Åkesson's Estate
72% cacáo-content; Madagascar
fruit & dirt
Mouthfeel   13.1 / 15
Texture: from heaven-sent cream to mild grain
Melt: leisurely
Flavor   42.3 / 50
Oro Verde
tart cherry rides over buried roast, spits out its pit -> fruit salad (strawberry / plum / mango) -> exits olive pit

Cedeño Farm
hits on red fruit acids 'n cream -> walnut drops on a sour-citrus floor

Åkesson's Estate
true to type... citrus tang / twang -> cream -> raspberry -> cranberry -> winks out on a bed of hazelnut
Quality   17.1 / 20
Raised in Trinidad, cacáo runs deep in the Maloneys. Their offerings -- no-nonsense essentials -- reflect integrity without spin doctoring. These early batches (#s 1,2,3) – promising. Only the off-kilter fruit /acid balance begs a bit more finesse.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed November 21, 2017


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