Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: Pacari Los Rios 72%

Richard's Rating: 6.5
chocolate makerPacari
barLos Rios
cacao trees(unknown)
size50g ~ 1.8oz
cocoa solids72%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
emulsifiersunflower lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price$5.49
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, scoring, scuffing, bubbles, adhered bits
aromafloral, earth, roast (coffee), mint
snapmedium hard
tastefruit (banana, citrus, berry), earth, sour, floral, roast (coffee), sweet
lengthshort to medium
finishtannin, somewhat sour
In March, we reviewed the raw chocolate bars for which Ecuador chocolate maker Pacari is renown (Raw 100%, Raw 85%, and Raw 70%). This month, we'll review their single origin bars from three different regions of Ecuador: Los Rios, Manabi, and Esmeraldas.

All of their chocolate is made from bean to bar and USDA certified organic. Pacari pays above-market prices to support sustainable organic agriculture and social responsibility.

The ingredients of Los Rios were cacao beans, cane sugar, and sunflower lecithin. The cacao beans made up all 72% of the cocoa solids (i.e., no added cocoa butter). The 50 gram bar was scored into 15 pieces. It came enclosed in a silver plastic pouch inside the paper box. The box was stamped with a production date of 13 January 2012 and a best before date of 13 January 2014.

Los Rios had a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The surface was smooth, but scuffed, with some chocolate bits adhered to it. There were a few tiny bubbles and an imperfection in the corner (top right in the photo above). The snap was medium hard.

The aroma of this chocolate was floral and earthy before a strong coffee roast became dominant. I also smelled a mint scent.

The taste was fruity and earthy. Over time I identified fruit flavors of banana, citrus, and berry. I tasted the floral and coffee roast from the aroma, but it wasn't as powerful as the aroma suggested. Sourness was present almost from the start, though sweetness gradually took over.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted around 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a length right at the boundary between short and medium. The finish was tannin and somewhat sour.

You can purchase Los Rios online for $5.49 directly from Pacari, or for $3.85 from Chocosphere.

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