Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Review: Fresco 221 Papua New Guinea

Richard's Rating: 7.0
chocolate makerFresco
regionPapua New Guinea
cacao trees(unknown)
size45g ~ 1.6oz
cocoa solids69%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1518
texturelined, scoring, bubbles
aromafruit, earth, roast, wood, dairy
snapmedium hard
tasteearth, roast (coffee), fruit (lime, blackberry), sweet (brown sugar), nut
finishsomewhat acidic, slightly bitter
221 is one of the four recipes that Rob Anderson used to craft Fresco chocolate using cacao from Papua New Guinea. We've already reviewed the other three: 219, 220, and 222. Fresco makes all of their chocolate in a nut-free environment.

All four recipes contained only two ingredients: 69% cacao beans and 31% cane sugar. 219 and 222 were made with a light roast, 220 with a medium roast, and 221 with a heavy roast. 219, 220, and 221 went through a medium conche; 222 was made with no conching.

221 came in Fresco's new 45 gram size, wrapped in gold foil-sided wax paper inside a paper box. It was formed into their standard shape: scored into 10 pieces, each lined either horizontally or vertically. This particular bar was missing its production and best before information, but it was likely produced in September 2012 with a best before date of two years later.

This heavy roast chocolate had a slightly different color from Fresco's other Papua New Guinea bars: a medium brown Puce (PANTONE 19-1518) color rather than the Fudgesickle of the other three. Like the others, this bar looked great other than having small bubbles in the corners of some pieces. The snap was medium-hard.

Similar scents were present in the aroma of 221, but again in a different mix, with fruit, earth, roast, wood and dairy. Among the four, 221 had the strongest roast scent, and I couldn't smell any vinegar at all in this aroma.

Initially earthy, the taste of this chocolate quickly revealed a strong coffee roast. The coffee flavor grew sweet with the taste of brown sugar. Fruit flavors of lime and blackberry then came forward, along with nuttiness.

The melt was smooth. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was acidic, but slightly bitter.

Although I liked this heavy roast 221 the least of the four recipes, it was still a good chocolate, and interesting to taste side-by-side with the others. 221 is not yet available online, but look for it soon at Chocolopolis.

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