Thursday, September 8, 2011

Review: Moonstruck Fortunato No. 4 Peru

Lindy's Rating: 8.0
Richard's Rating: 8.0

chocolate makerFelchlin
barFortunato No. 4
cacao treesNacional
size56g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids68%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$12.00

colormedium-light brown
PANTONE 18-1314
texturesmooth with image imprints and scoring
aromafloral, earth, fruit (citrus), tart, roast, hint of sweet
snapmedium hard
tastesweet (honey), fruit (coconut, apricot, nectarine), roast (cocoa), nut
meltmore smooth
finishslightly tannin, very slightly acidic

Fortunato No. 4 has a fascinating history. In 2007, Dan Pearson and Brian Horsley rediscovered pure Nacional cacao trees in Peru. Even more surprising is that these trees were growing at extremely high elevations (for cacao) between 3500 and 4100 feet. This species was previously known only in Ecuador and thought extinct a few years after rampant diseases attacked those trees in 1916. Pure Nacional cacao has rare white beans like that of Porcelana from Venezuela.

As for the name, the number 4 came from the purest genetic sample, which came from the 4th of 14 analyzed by the USDA. Fortunato is the name of the cacao farmer on whose land in the Marañón Canyon of Peru where the purest mother tree was found. They founded Marañón Chocolate, consider themselves stewards of this cacao, and provide seeds and starts from their nursery to other local farmers to expand production.

Marañón Chocolate sells to a limited set of chocolatiers who retail products made using Fortunato No. 4. Moonstruck is one such chocolatier. The Swiss chocolate maker Felchlin produces Fortunato No. 4 bars and couverture for Moonstruck.

Moonstruck's Fortunato No. 4 was made with 68% cocoa solids (cocoa beans and cocoa butter) and 32% cane sugar. The two ounce bar was scored into 15 pieces, each with an imprint of the Moonstruck crescent moon and flute player. The bar was wrapped in silver foil and packaged inside a paper box with raised graphics. The best before date stamped on the box of the bar we reviewed was blurred, but it seemed to be February 2012.

The color of the chocolate was an unusual medium-light brown Acorn (PANTONE 18-1314). The bar had a medium hard snap.

Fortunato No. 4 had an aroma that included the floral typical of Ecuador cacao, earth, a tart citrus fruit, and some roast. I also smelled a suggestion of sweetness.

This chocolate tasted sweet, with the distinct flavor of honey. Fruit flavors ranged from a tropical coconut to tree fruits in the form of nectarine and apricot. We also tasted a cocoa roast and some nut.

The melt was more smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted 30 to 40 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a medium length. The finish was slightly tannin and very slightly acidic.

Fortunato No. 4 won a Bronze at the Academy of Chocolate's 2011 Awards.

You can purchase Moonstruck Fortunato No. 4 online directly from Moonstruck for $12.00 or in person at one of their chocolate cafés or from one of their retail partners.

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