Friday, January 3, 2014

Review: Marou Ba Ria 76%

Richard's Rating: 7.0
chocolate makerMarou
barBa Ria
cacao treesTrinitario
size100g ~ 3.5oz
cocoa solids76%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list priceN/A
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1012
Dark Brown
appearancesmooth, scoring, imprint, bubbles, adhered bits
aromaroast, spice, fruit (hint of olive), earth
tasteroast (cocoa), sweet (honey), fruit (raspberry, apricot, citrus)
finishsomewhat acidic, somewhat tannin
Marou crafts bean to bar chocolate locally in Vietnam. They make five bars, each from cacao of a different region in the country. All of their chocolate contains only three ingredients: cacao beans, cocoa butter and cane sugar. The bars are produced in their nut-free factory in Ho Chi Minh City (a.k.a. Saigon).

Ba Ria came as a nice, big, 100 gram bar wrapped in thin bronze foil-sided paper (with a sticker of the Marou "M") that was enclosed in a lovely bright orange-red wrapper with gold silk-screen (sealed with double-sided adhesive).

This chocolate had 76% cocoa solids (cacao beans plus added cocoa butter) and 24% cane sugar. It came from batch 304, and had a best before date of January 28, 2014.

The bar was scored in different-sized pieces with diagonal lines and a central rectangle with the Marou logo. The surface was smooth to the touch and had a somewhat uneven sheen. The chocolate was a medium brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012) color. There were bubbles in some of the corners, adhered bits mostly on top, and visible lines from the wrapper. The bar had a generally good appearance in spite of all of these minor flaws.

Ba Ria had a hard snap. The aroma contained roast, spice, fruit, and earth scents. The fruit scent contained a hint of olive.

The chocolate tasted initially of a cocoa roast, but soon revealed sweetness and fruit flavors. The sweetness tasted similar to honey. The fruit was complex. Among the specific flavors I identified were raspberry and apricot, as well as a general citrus.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted about 45-50 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a long length. The finish was somewhat acidic and somewhat tannin.

Ba Ria was much fruitier than the other Marou chocolates. Of the five, I think I liked Dong Nai best, though Ba Ria was a close second. Here are the other reviews: Ben Tre, Dong Nai, Lam Dong, and Tien Giang.

You can purchase Marou Ba Ria 76% online for $8.95 from The Meadow or for $9.00 from Chocolopolis.

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