Monday, October 17, 2011

Review: Askinosie Cortés Honduras

Lindy's Rating: 8.5
Richard's Rating: 8.5

chocolate makerAskinosie
barCortés, Honduras
cacao treesTrinitario
size85g ~ 3.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane juice
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1431
texturesmooth, with character imprints and scoring
aromacitrus, red fruit, earth (damp hay), roast
tasteearth, roast, fruit (citrus, lime, orange, cherry, plum, hint of lemon), sweet
finishslightly tannin
Askinosie has personal relationships with the farmers who grow their cacao beans. The picture of lead farmer Fermin Arriaga graces the wrapper of this bar. As I've written before, Askinosie shares profits with his farmers, who all farm organically. However, his chocolate is not certified fair trade or organic.

Cortés Honduras was made from Trinitario cacao beans from farms near the port city of Cortés, Honduras. The 70% cocoa solids consisted of 67% beans and 3% cocoa butter made from Cortés beans (many chocolate makers use cheaper, lower quality cocoa butter). The remaining 30% was organic cane juice. Askinosie crafted this bar into its standard form: 3 ounces scored into 18 pieces, each with a letter of "Askinosie chocolate". Using environmental packaging, Cortés was wrapped in NatureFlex™ and placed inside the waxed paper bag picture above.

Askinosie still uses a date as a "Choc-o-lot #" to identify the production run of the chocolate bar, but starting with "100112" (October 1, 2012), they are converting to using a "best before date" rather than a "packaged date". You will continue to be able to view a brief production history by entering the Choc-o-lot # on their homepage. The wrapper of the bar we reviewed was stamped 030811, indicating it was packaged in March.

Cortés had a medium brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431) color. The bar had a hard snap. The aromas of this chocolate were a strong citrus, a subtle red fruit, an earthiness reminiscent of damp hay, and some roast.

After an initial flavor of earth and roast, Cortés tasted of citrus and revealed more specific fruit flavors: lime, orange, cherry, plum, and a hint of lemon. Lindy said she loved the way the fruit flavors blended together and how there were so many of them. It also tasted sweet to me.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving Cortés a medium length. The final aftertaste was slightly tannin.

In the continental U.S., you can purchase Askinosie Cortés Honduras online directly from Askinosie for $8.00. To combine it with a purchase of other chocolates, you can buy Cortés online from Chocolopolis for $7.99.

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