Friday, December 10, 2010

Review: Republica del Cacao Los Rios

Lindy's Rating: 5.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 5.0 (previously **)

chocolate makerRepublica del Cacao
barLos Rios
cacao trees(unknown)
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids75%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A

colordark brown
PANTONE 19-1015 Bracken
texturesmooth with text imprints and scoring
aromamint, coffee
tastevery strong fig, hints of allspice and musty
finishslightly acidic
The Republica del Cacao Los Rios bar drew strong reactions at the recent blind chocolate tasting. Two people loved the intense fig flavor of this chocolate, rating it **** and ranking it as their favorite, and two people hated it, rating it *, ranking it last, and remarking that it was the only bar they disliked.

Los Rios is made from Arriba cacao beans from the Los Rios province of Ecuador. Unfortunately, Arriba and Nacional are not always meaningful when applied to Ecuador cacao beans. Although both names have good reputations as quality cacao beans, there does not appear to be any control on their usage. Also, for its greater productivity, more and more Forastero cacao is being farmed in Ecuador and mixed with the Nacional cacao. Please see my discussion of cacao trees for more information about cacao varieties.

This chocolate had an unusual mint aroma with a suggestion of coffee. Similarly distinctive was its very strong fig taste, the flavor of which dominated this bar. Some people noticed hints of allspice and musty, and one person detected bourbon. However, it was the overwhelming fig flavor that was the focus of discussion about this bar.

All in all, an interesting and perhaps unique chocolate. We'll have to try some other Ecuador chocolates in the future for comparison.

Unfortunately, we did not take an opportunity to photograph the opened chocolate bars at the tasting, so I only have a picture of the wrapper.

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