Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Dandelion Mantuano Venezuela

Lindy's Rating: 6.0
Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerDandelion
cacao trees(unknown)
size56g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth with scoring
aromaroast (smoke), earth (must), hint of spice
tasteroast (smoke, cocoa), nut, sweet (marshmallow)
meltmore smooth
finishslightly smoky
MORE RECENT REVIEW: Dandelion Mantuano, Venezuela

Dandelion was also on batch number 2 for their single origin Venezuela chocolate made with cacao beans from the Barlovento coast of Venezuela. The sticker on the wrapper was titled Mantuano, Venezuela and indicated that the beans were from the 2010 harvest. The back sticker was initialed that Todd Masonis was primarily responsible for the batch and Chiann Tsui for the packaging.

As with all Dandelion chocolate, Venezuela was made with 70% cacao beans and 30% cane sugar. There was no any added cocoa butter, emulsifier, or flavoring, and no contamination with dairy, gluten, nuts, or soy. The two ounce bar was scored into 18 pieces, each with 5 parallel squiggles, and came wrapped with heavy gold-sided foil and packaged inside a pretty paper cover. There was no production date or best before date on the wrapper, but the bar was made in 2011.

Mantuano, Venezuela had a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The top surface looked nicely smooth, nearly as great as their Costa Rica bar. It had a hard snap.

A strong smoky roast dominated the aroma of this chocolate. There was a dry musty earth scent, but it was secondary to the roast. I also smelled a hint of spice.

Venezuela had a roast flavor, too -- smoky and cocoa. We also tasted nutty, and a sweetness that included marshmallow. The label described the flavor of Venezuela as "almost hot cocoa in bar form" and that was how it tasted, though the roast was too strong for me. Lindy was surprised by the lack of any fruit flavors in the taste.

The chocolate had a more smooth melt. The flavor lasted about 15 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a short length. We were left with a slightly smoky finish.

You can purchase Dandelion Venezuela online directly from Dandelion for $8.00, or, if you would like to combine the purchase with other brands, from Chocolopolis for $8.99.

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