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


Signup for our free Newsletter

Signup for our free Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the C-spot.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest