Taiwan #1
Taiwan #3
Taiwan #8
Taiwan #9

by Fu Wan / 福灣巧克力
Info Details
Country Taiwan   
Type Semi-Dark   
Strain Blend   (Hybrid)
Source Taiwan   (Pingtung Province; Mount Dawu foothills)
Flavor Twang   
Style Rustic      
Ratings & reviews, awards & accolades, represent a mere snapshot in time. A fleeting moment. Ephemeral as a shooting star. –- the C-spot™, 2011

Such is life. Ditto biology. And chocolate too. Hence the quest for permanence... AI, robotics, biohacking, immortality.

Presumptuous (or just naïve?) for a contest committee to endorse an upstart, unless extremely precocious (think Mozart composing at age 6), to replicate exceptional results consistently. That usually requires the savoir-faire of, say, a Bonnat with its pedigree & history… ~150 years & counting of experience in its DNA.

Fu Wan Chocolate – a promising newcomer; recipient of some ribbons -- from China, errr, technically Taiwan but, ya know, the relationship’s messy, in flux.

Produced, processed & planted in Pingtung, Taiwan -- the 49th country to enter the C-spotChocolate Atlas. Of course listing it separately from the mainland no doubt earns social discredit according to tally-minders of Xi's PRoC.

Then again, with Trump's posture toward 'cha-EYE-nah', such debits probably cancel each other out in trans-Pacific affairs.

Either way, 50 years on, isn’t the world glad Nixon opened up China & Clinton swung the doors of WTO to spread her wide… from summits in Tibet to shining South China seas awash with a centralized mercantilist economy, pegged currency, artificial islands for a rising military & ping-pong diplomacy (re: trade wars)?

Appearance   3.6 / 5
Color: Taiwan #1: milk biege
Taiwan #3: (slightly) blackened-chocolate
Taiwan #8: apricotta-brown
Taiwan #9: light enough to pass for a Milk Choc
Surface: well-moulded
Temper: matte
Snap: muddy
Aroma   7.7 / 10
Taiwan #1 (70% cacáo-content)
dried brown fruit (raisin; tamarind) & black spice (licorice; molasses)

Taiwan #3 (70% cacáo-content)
rich in licorice

Taiwan #8 (62% cacáo-content)
grape Playdoh®

Taiwan #9 (70% cacáo-content)
a fruit-flowered bomb
cherry blossom
pineapple (including its bromeliad frond)
substrate of white & green tea (sorry, black)
Mouthfeel   11.2 / 15
Texture: Taiwan #1 and Taiwan #3: smoove
Taiwan #8 and Taiwan #9: sandy...
Melt: Taiwan #8:
... wax
Taiwan #9:
Flavor   44 / 50
Taiwan #1
those black aromatics (see above) enter lightly & hold a considerable cocoa butter rail with a milk sense (though no dairy added) -> further spices up sassafras -> sweet tamarind & date to the exit

Taiwan #3
yep, as the scent foretells... loci-rich, add molasses -> 2nd stage black caramel

Taiwan #8
sweet fruit flush entrance... wax jambu to snow pear... then loquat -> brown sugar streams to molasses -> betel nut -> rare guava jam -> lychee wrapped in a tea leaf -> gingerbread exit -> cookie cream wafer in the aft-linger

Taiwan #9
tracks with the Aromatics -> flirts with that jelly jam found in Taiwan #8 (above) with a sorghum underbelly until bullied over by bitter mushroom & betel nut -> graham crackering toward the finish to a bracing pineapple
Quality   15.9 / 20
Emerging details of cacáo on Taiwan indicate a generally open door policy during the 1920s & 30s welcomed introductions from, it is thought, Indonesia & Malaysia. Later, circa the 1970s, material came from Brazil, presumably of the Amelonado strain.

With genetic testing on the horizon, more specificity will reveal the identity of an intensely hybridized & diversified array of cacáo types, as well their interrelationships & provenance. Stay tuned...

Taiwan #1
Expetly proportioned & tailored in its profile. Sound amplitude too; never loud but enough above hush in its spice encounters (though probably too quiet to garner much publicity).

Taiwan #3
Sweetened by "black sugar". No, not turbinado or brown sugar or molasses but 'black sugar', a form of sugar cane boiled down into a syrup on the edge of smoked roasting. Distinct.

Taiwan #8
Nice, friendly, polite. Nothing Earth-shaking, the flavor tags initially strike as pretty global / generic except in the way they progress increasingly toward distinction & come together as saccharine syrup by the end evoking tanghulu — candied fruits on a stick -- found amongst Chinese street food.

Added sugar, constituting over a third, quite high for a "Dark" Chocolate, really compensates for an active ferment to catalyze those acids into a tolerable level, as well as furnish definition. It also compromises the melt however; creating granulated sand further complicated by a hefty cocoa butter pad of max-wax factor.

Given all the issues, Fu Wan strives valiantly to harness disparate elements. Whether dumb luck or smart fortune, a charm school chocolate.

Taiwan #9
Less benign & sanguine. Attests to the need for more sugaring as demonstrated in Taiwan #8. The kind of choc that, after sampling a couple dozen others, blows competitors away with its bracing, wince-inducing volatiles to convince of its 'complexity' (in line with the 6th Law of Chocodynamics). Think a white version of Madagascar's red berry implosions (they too in want of extra sugar for catalytic conversion). Largely attributed to a Double Ferment -- an overly-expressed added-culture that, along with the cacáo pulp, doubles-down tag-team style on the 6-day fermentation.

All in all, these latter 2 bars displays volatile potency which, in due time over a greater sample size, might prove to be a hallmark of Taiwanese cacáo.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed May 23, 2019


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