Thursday, March 8, 2012

Review: Fresco 218 Chuao

Richard's Rating: 7.0
chocolate makerFresco
cacao trees(unknown)
size40g ~ 1.4oz
cocoa solids76%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1317
Bitter Chocolate
texturelined, scoring, bubbles
aromaearth, acidic, roast (coffee), fruit
snapmedium hard
tasteroast (cocoa, coffee), fruit (citrus, grapefruit, berry)
218 is the other bar from Fresco made with cacao beans from the Chuao region of Venezuela. Fresco 218 differs from 217 in that it has a higher percentage of cocoa solids (76%) and was made using a medium rather than dark roast. As with all of Fresco's chocolate, 218 had ingredients of only cacao beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter made from those same cacao beans.

The small 40 gram bar was scored into 10 pieces, each lined either horizontally or vertically. It came wrapped in gold foil-sided wax paper inside a paper box with some raised reflective gold lettering. The production date of the bar I reviewed was September 29, 2011. The best before date was October 2013.

218 had a medium brown Bitter Chocolate (PANTONE 19-1317) color. The surface of the bar was smooth, but there were tiny bubbles in the top corners of most pieces. The bar had a medium hard snap.

The aroma had scents of earth, acidity, coffee roast, and fruit. The aroma was generally similar to that of 217, but with more earthiness, some acidity, and lacking any spice that I could smell.

The chocolate tasted differently, though. The strong coffee flavor of 217 was much less pronounced in 218 and muted with cocoa flavor in the roast. Late fruit flavors were stronger and brighter, with citrus that I tasted as grapefruit and some berry.

The melt of 218 began slowly, but became smooth, much like 217. The flavor lasted almost 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, just at the far edge of a short length. The finish was acidic.

It was interesting to compare two such similar chocolates that differed primarily by roast (and a little by cocoa content). Overall, I slightly preferred 217.

Fresco 218 does not appear to be available yet anywhere online. In the meantime, to find this chocolate you might try one of the retail stores that carry Fresco chocolate. If you find it available online, please add a comment with a link. Thanks!

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