Box Chocolate Review

Samaritan Xocolate

Info Details
Country Costa Rica   (Perez Zeledon)
Style Old School      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Intensity
Complexity
Impact
The good Samaritans of Costa Rica trying to revive the "true religion" of Xocolate (disregarding the amalgamation in spelling) -- viz., a quasi-throwback to pre-Columbian / light if-not-quite coarse-ground / old-school traditions -- in reaction to the modern-day Kohanim & Levites (various gatekeepers from govts, NGOs, gene banks, & candy giants bent on sanitizing chocolate with steam, vanilla, loads of sugar + other technical means & socio-environmental proxies to practically shield the consuming public from a taste of the nasty end of the business).

Samaritan Xocolate avoids none of that as it offers a real sense of grit & dirt & honest hard work in this delivery of both bars & bombones.
Presentation   4.3 / 5
rustic with imaginative touches such as the folding tobacco pouches for the bars
Aromas   3.4 / 5
blunt
Textures/Melt   4.9 / 10
Shells: impregnable
Centers: heavy
Flavor   31.6 / 50
none shy; head on
Quality   17.1 / 30
Definitional locavore in the Southern Zone of Costa Rica: humble-cultivars / home-ground / hand-crafted
Selections
Couverture: in-house
Cacique Estate -- peeled seeds redolent with greens, nuts &, naturally, banana (a mainstay of Nibs generally); mostly flats, ovular & medium-small sized; the Aromatics transfer over directly & nicely to the Flavor with nuts leading the way & tremendously kind savories at the mid palate before soiling down & digging into some good bitter Earth; easy & accessible, thus excellent for snacking (making, perhaps, for a limited finished chocolate because of it); anyone who knows anything about Meosamerica lore understands the significance of Cacique (well, other than academics, few insiders even in the chocolate industry know stuff other than yield & productivity) & these seeds live up to the name: the 1st Mayan title known to the Spanish while Columbusing the New World, translated as ‘Lord of the Route’

Trocitos de Cacao -- Nibs project a peanut inflection in a coarsely-ground 70 or so percent chocolate base of basic cocoa traits enlivened by added vanilla, cinnamon, chili & salt to cover inherent deficiencies &, for the most part, pull it off even as there's no denying that a superior grade cacáo would alter the dynamic in favor of greater gastronomy

90% -- cupcake quality cocoa notes, very narrow & direct... never veers off track save for a sidebar bitter which, other than that, remains relatively mild-mannered for the percentage

Sencillo 70% -- the name says it all (Spanish for "simple"); very vanilla-oriented with backing from cinnamon (both added as this copies Trocitos de Cacao but without the Nibs) which all combine to form a bubble-gum sweet-spot; some fun yum (excluding the caustic aftermath)

Zacate de Límon -- disinfectant-strength lemongrass infuses Samaritan's (now-sanitized) Dark base

Mumbai Chai -- another bar infusion; chai & the rest of S. Xocolate's spice pack racks up a flavor that goes bananas on the tongue (literally & figuratively) as though someone unpeeled a ripe Chiquita® & stuck it in

Salted Caramel --all there, especially the salt, doubly the salt, no, triple or quadruple the salt; enough to form kidney stones

Naranjilla -- armor-all domed shell encasing a soft oozy naranjilla orange-marziapn (of sorts); very home-ground / hand-crafted

Mint -- so strong it arrives in a separate zip lock + double wrapped paper; pretty much an all-mint affair… chocolate merely a vehicle for its butter to balm the herb

Mountain Mocha Café -- wondrous aroma translates into a flavor of strong coffee with little-to-no chocolate support other than cocoa butter lending texture

Orange -- solid but dirty bitter-choc infused with orange; a total mismatch & clash in heart-shaped mold

Reviewed November 20, 2014
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