Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Kallari 85%

Lindy's Rating: 4.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 4.0 (previously **)
chocolate makerKallari
cacao trees(unknown)
size70g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids85%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$5.95
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1217 Mustang
texturesmooth with leaf imprints and scoring
aromaroast(coffee, smoky), sweet (brown sugar), earthy (grass), hint of floral
snapmedium hard
tastefruit (berry, watermelon), bitter, sweet, burnt toast
finishslightly bitter
MORE RECENT REVIEW: Kallari 85% Cacao

From the back of the wrapper: "We are KALLARI, a cooperative of 900 indigenous Kichwa families in the Upper Napo Region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. We plant, care for, and harvest our award-winning heirloom cacao beans to create this single-source organic chocolate. We share 100% of chocolate profits amongst our 21 rainforest communities to maintain our way of life in one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth."

The motto of Kallari chocolate is "sustainable pleasure for palate and planet". Kallari 85% is certified organic by the USDA. It is also certified by the Rainforest Alliance that it was produced in a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable way. Kallari produces three chocolate bars that vary by the amount of cocoa solids: 70%, 75%, and 85%.

Kallari 85% had a medium dark brown color, most closely matching Mustang (PANTONE 19-1217). The surface of this 70 gram bar was smooth and it was scored into 18 pieces, each with an imprint of the leaf logo of Kallari.

The snap was medium hard. This chocolate's aroma was full of roast, primarily coffee and smoky, and a sweet that Lindy identified as brown sugar. I also noticed an earthy grass and occasional hints of a floral scent. Lindy found the smoky aroma very unpleasant.

Fortunately, Kallari 85% did not taste as its aroma might suggest. After an initial bitterness, the primary flavor was a fruit that Lindy thought was some type of berry and I thought might be watermelon. I also found this chocolate to be surprisingly sweet for 85% cocoa solids. There was a flavor of burnt toast.

The melt was smooth. The flavor lasted between 5 and 10 seconds after the chocolate was gone, so the length ended up on minimal side within short. The final aftertaste was slightly bitter and vaguely unpleasant.

Kallari 85% had a profile very different from the two Ecuadorian chocolates we've reviewed from Republica del Cacao. It was different, but not better, and we both rated this bar a low **. So, we'll continue to search for a chocolate bar made from Ecuadorian cacao that we both love. It's too early to know, but it may be that we just don't appreciate the chocolate grown in that region.

You can purchase Kallari chocolate bars online at Chocosphere for $5.95 each.

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