Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Fresco 213 Dominican Republic

Lindy's Rating: 8.5
Richard's Rating: 8.0
chocolate makerFresco
regionDominican Republic
cacao trees(unknown)
size40g ~ 1.4oz
cocoa solids72%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium-light brown
PANTONE 19-1431
texturelined with scoring, bubbles
aromaearth, roast (smoke, cocoa, malt), fruit (raisin, hint of plum), sweet, hint of floral
snapmedium hard
tasteroast (tea), fruit (plum, dried fruit, berry), sweet, tangy, earth
finishslightly tannin, slightly acidic
U.S. bean to bar chocolate maker Rob Anderson began Fresco in 2008. He is an advocate of transparency in the chocolate making industry and reveals information about roasting and conching for each of his chocolate bars. Fresco makes all of their chocolate from effectively two ingredients: cacao beans and cane sugar. They make the cocoa butter they use from the same cacao beans.

Fresco tries many variations and decides upon a batch recipe based on cacao origin, roasting temperatures and time, ingredient percentages, and conching temperatures and time. You can read more about this process on their website.

213 was a single origin chocolate made with cacao beans from the Dominican Republic. Cocoa solids (cacao beans and cocoa butter) were 72%, and thus cane sugar made up the remaining 28%. The recipe for this chocolate included a dark roast and no conche.

The small 40 gram bar was scored into 10 square pieces, each alternating with either vertical or horizontal lines. The surface looked great other than bubbles in some of the top corners of the pieces. The bar came wrapped in silver foil-sided wax paper and packaged in a paper container. The production date was August 16, 2011, and the batch number was 11-018 (with a production run of 298). The best before date was September 2013.

The chocolate had a medium-light brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431) color, and the bar had a medium-hard snap.

213 had an aroma of earth, roast, and fruit. The roast contained smoke, cocoa, and malt. There was a dried fruit that we both identified as raisin, and Lindy also noticed a hint of plum. In addition, I experienced a sweet scent and Lindy smelled a hint of floral.

Lindy described the flavors as sweet, tangy, a plum fruit, and a roast in the form of tea. For me, 213 tasted strongly of the tea roast, along with earth, fruit that included plum, dried fruit, and berry, as well as some sweetness.

The melt was smooth. The length was short, with the flavor lasting about 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was slightly tannin and slightly acidic.

Lindy liked this chocolate more than I did (I found the roast to be too heavy). However, we both rated 213 highly enough for it to make it onto our list of Best Chocolates Overall.

You can purchase Fresco 213 online for $7.00 from Chocolopolis.

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