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Vanuatu:
Epi
Santo
Malo
Malekula

by Aelan
Info Details
Country Vanuatu   
Type Dark   (70% cacáo-content)
Strain Amazon   (Amelonado-based with hybrid mix)
Source Vanuatu   
Flavor Naked   (fairly...)
Style Rustic      
lo
med
hi
CQ
Sweetness
Acidity
Bitterness
Roast
Intensity
Complexity
Structure
Length
Impact
The alphabet cereal of chocolate from A to Z begins with A. Morin & ends with Zotter.

In between, V in chocolate once stood exclusively for Venezuela. With that country’s troubles, including exports, V shifted to Vietnam.

Not to be excluded, here comes Vanuatu. This South Pacific nation sports some robust, here’s another V, volcanic chocolate (which first entered the chocolate canon years ago with Grenada & then Hawai’i) befitting the atoll nature of these islands.

Ahhh, the Varietals & Variety of chocolate.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: Epi: slate brown with a drop of rosacea
Santo: incorporates slight golden hue
Malo: trace orange
Malekula: reddish-orange shade for browned-sienna
Surface: grease splatter out back
Temper: sums up dim sum
Snap: breaking waves
Aroma   8.4 / 10
Epi
Batch EII / 19
strong base cocoa surrounded by tar (both the asphalt & nicotine varieties)
soil 'n meadow (freshness)
cashew-almond center
fumes bituminously

Santo
Batch S15/19
similar, especially toward the bitumen end, but more riparian / coastal + a small melon drop with balsam

Malo
Batch MA 20/19
a dark tar pit, add molasses + latex bounce

Malekula
Batch M10/19
shares properties with all the above but distinct with copal (coconut) & black-cherry
Mouthfeel   11.5 / 15
Texture: globules to...
Melt: ... sand (2-ingredient chocolate -- just cocoa + sugar -- which, judging by Texture, could stand an added cocoa butter pad)
Flavor   43.8 / 50
Epi
caustic cloud hanging over a festive yam & persimmon-like entrance -> chocolate-chocolate -> rear flint (bordering on gas but contained) -> gentle cardamom -> breadfruit to cream puff

Santo
lays down a cinnamonized cocoa (excellent) on grass -> cookie dough -> walnut brownie -> small charcoal -> chalk exit

Malo
wafer then a very steady vanilla cocoa-cream in a milder version of Santo above -> Oreos out

Malekula
molasses-tar baby -> licorice -> growing pains toward cocoa… reaches it in a papaya’d nexus -> talc finish
Quality   16.1 / 20
From the land of kiln driers & polypropelene sacks. Each bar deploying cocoa culled from a different island which comprises this nation's chain of them.


Differences, though apparent, are narrow & probably owe as much to the post-harvesting as to the terrain + varietal selection(s). A couple blips & blemishes, particularly the talc 'n chalk tags indicating drying / storage issues. Overall trendline though very much grazes in the direction of basal cocoa with soft nuances hovering.

As with the stock market & life in general, so too with cocoa: the trend is your friend.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar

Reviewed February 7, 2020

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