Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Review: Fresco 217 Chuao

Richard's Rating: 7.0
chocolate makerFresco
cacao trees(unknown)
size40g ~ 1.4oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturelined, scoring, bubbles
aromaroast (coffee), earth, fruit, spice
snapmedium hard
tasteroast (coffee), sweet, nut, fruit (raisin, berry)
finishsomewhat bitter, faint coffee
In 2011 some independent chocolate makers got their hands on coveted cacao beans from the Chuao region of Venezuela, where such beans are usually locked up in exclusive long-term contracts by larger makers. Last summer we reviewed three Chuao bars made by Mast Brothers. This week, we're reviewing two made by Fresco.

The first of those two Fresco bars is 217, which was made with 70% cocoa solids (cacao beans and cocoa butter from those same beans) and 30% cane sugar. Rob Anderson made 217 with a dark roast and medium conche.

Fresco's small 40 gram bar was scored into 10 pieces, each lined either horizontally or vertically. The bar came wrapped in silver foil-sided wax paper inside a paper box with some raised reflective silver lettering to acknowledge this special cacao. The production date of the bar I reviewed was September 2, 2011. The best before date was October 2013.

The color of 217 was a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface was smooth, but there were tiny bubbles in the top corners of nearly every piece. The bar had a medium hard snap.

The chocolate had a coffee roast aroma combined with an earthy scent. I also smelled fruit and spice.

Unsurprisingly, based on the aroma, 217 tasted of coffee roast as well. I next noticed some sweetness and a nutty flavor, before the fruits came out: raisin and berry. Mostly, though, this chocolate tasted of coffee, and reminded me of a café mocha.

After a slow start, the melt was smooth. The length was medium, with the flavor lasting 20 to 25 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was somewhat bitter, with a faint coffee flavor.

This chocolate was better than the Chuaos made by Mast Brothers, but not quite as good as those made by those that have been crafting Chuao chocolate for many years. Take a look at our ranking of Chuao chocolates on the Chocolate Rankings page.

Fresco 217 does not appear to be available yet anywhere online. Please add a comment with a link if you find it somewhere. In the meantime, to find this chocolate you might try one of these retail stores that carry Fresco chocolate.

1 comment:

  1. I'm fairly sure you folks have seen this by now, but just in case: