Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: Cacao Sampaka Xoconusco

Richard's Rating: 7.5
chocolate makerChocovic
cacao treesCriollo
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids70%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price€6.75
colormedium-dark brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturesmooth, semi-glossy, uneven sheen, adhered bits
aromaroast (cocoa), spice, fruit (date, berry), nut, sweet
tastefruit (blackberry), roast (cocoa), nut (hazelnut), sweet (marshmallow)
meltmore smooth
finishsomewhat tannin, somewhat acidic, and slightly sour
Spanish chocolatier Cacao Sampaka sells several single origin chocolate bars, including two I purchased from Chocolopolis. Note that Sampaka chocolate is produced by Chocovic (thanks to the reader who shared this information). Although Sampaka also makes chocolate from cacao of more typical origins, both of these bars happen to be made with cacao from Mexico. The cacao for Xoconusco came from Xoconusco in the state of Chiapas.

This chocolate contained 70% cocoa solids. Added ingredients were sugar, cocoa butter, and soy lecithin. Two unscored 50 gram bars were sealed in plastic inside a paper box (with an opening through which you could see the contents). The bars were separated with a thin sheet. The batch number was 110390 and the best before date was September 2013.

Xoconusco had a medium-dark brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color. The top surface of each bar was smooth and semi-glossy, with a text imprint of "CACAO SAMPAKA". The sheen was uneven, and there were a few adhered bits of chocolate and a tiny bit of scuffing. The snap was hard.

Opening the sealed plastic unleashed a rich aroma of roast in the form of cocoa, along with spice, fruit, nut and sweetness. The fruit scent contained date and berry.

The taste began with a blackberry fruit flavor that soon dissipated behind a cocoa roast. A nutty flavor, with hazelnut in particular, developed, along with a marshmallow sweetness.

The melt was more smooth. The length was medium, with chocolate flavor lasting about 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was somewhat tannin, somewhat acidic, and slightly sour.

You can purchase Xoconusco online directly from Cacao Sampaka for €6.75 in Spain, or from Caputo's for $11.99 in the United States.

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