Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Review: Fine & Raw 78% (Ecuador)

Lindy's Rating: 5.0
Richard's Rating: 5.5
chocolate maker(unknown)
cacao trees(unknown)
size54g ~ 1.9oz
cocoa solids78%
added fatcocoa butter
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.50
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, not glossy, uneven sheen, scoring, bubbles
aromafloral, earth, nut (almond), coconut, spice
tastesour, wood, earth, bitter
finishbitter, somewhat sour
Fine & Raw hand-crafts all of their raw chocolate in Brooklyn from cacao paste made from single origin fair trade Ecuador cacao. They are working on opening a new factory to begin producing bean to bar chocolate. The company supports the environment, with cacao from farmers using sustainable practices at the start and recycled packaging using non-toxic vegetable inks at the end. Daniel Sklaar uses only organic ingredients and his raw chocolate never exceeds 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48°C) during processing. He makes one unflavored chocolate bar and seven flavored chocolate bars, as well as bonbons.

78% was made from cacao paste, blue agave nectar, and cocoa butter. The ingredients were raw and organic, but the bar was not certified. The bar was scored into ten pieces and came wrapped in gold-sided foil inside brown paper. There was no best before date on the bar we reviewed.

The chocolate had a color that was slightly more red than Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The surface of the bar was smooth, but not glossy. It had an uneven sheen. There were bubbles along the edges. The bar had a hard snap.

The aroma was floral and earthy, with a nutty almond scent as well as some coconut. I also smelled spice. The combination was nice.

78% had a sour flavor pretty much throughout. We both tasted a woody flavor and a bitterness that grew towards the end. I experienced an earthiness as well.

The chocolate had a smooth melt, leaning towards less smooth. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting about 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was bitter and somewhat sour.

You can purchase 78% online for $8.50 in the U.S. directly from Fine & Raw.

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