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Carúpano

by Cacao de Origen
Info Details
Country Venezuela   
Type Semi-Dark   (75% cacáo-content)
Strain Rio Caribe   
Source Venezuela   
Flavor Earthen   (gentle Earth)
Style Classic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
Between Venezuela's politics & America's foreign policy toward it, the country struggles through... a kind of mess hall without food. Even its cocoa has been a disappearing act.

Yes, a mess hall, seeing how military generals now double as commodity brokers ever since economic sanctions bit their oil exports hard.

Among the few commodities exempt from sanctions: cocoa. Which means the brass there scrambles to push cocoa beans overseas for desperately needed foreign exchange dollars -- a vital stop-gap in the local Bolivar currency runaway inflation.

This all results in Venezuela's once-exalted cocoa crop, that fetched a premium, faltering into lower quality status (fermentation optional apparently under such circumstances) & bulk pricing (below world rates), probably to the dismay of people such as Alejandro Prosperi, the Carúpano-based president of the cocoa industry group CAPEC.

No doubt he & other insiders still know how to get their hands on the 'good stuff'. Like this bar.
Appearance   4.6 / 5
Color: soft mauve
Surface: slashing lines on the mould
Temper: reserved
Snap: hush-hush
Aroma   9.3 / 10
pretty Venzy: sweet, mild & light.... generalized as a macadamia vanilla custard to a chocolate cream
Mouthfeel   13.7 / 15
Texture: true
Melt: evenflow
Flavor   45.1 / 50
mac nuts & chestnut -> cream -> fleeting fruit flirt (papaya) -> mocha -> quite tannic of mahogany-strength but velvet tannins absent stringent grips -> vanilla fudge brownie back
Quality   17.8 / 20
Fresh, that is right after processing, this bar left much to be desired. Let it age & .... it turns archetypal. Recalls to some degree Domori's early iterations of this regional cacáo.

Light roasting preserves those tannins which creates a deceptive intensity & yet still free of bitterness -- a tribute to this cacao's DNA. Not to mention the growing stewardship of Maria Fernando Di Giacobbe & her colleagues at Cacao de Origen which deepens by expanding its footprint in every step of the process from seed-to-sale.

Reviewed July 17, 2019

  

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