Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Dandelion Mantuano, Venezuela 70%

Richard's Rating: 6.0
chocolate makerDandelion
cacao treesunknown
size56g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1012
Dark Brown
appearancesmooth, scoring, imprints
aromaroast (smoke), earth (mold), dairy
tasteroast (malt, smoke, coffee), earth, spice (cinnamon), fruit
meltmore smooth
finishtannin, somewhat acidic, slightly sour
Dandelion sourced the cacao beans for Mantuano "from a female-run co-op nestled in the tropical hills of the Caribbean coast of Venezuela." This particular bar was made from batch 1 of the beans from the 2012 harvest.

The ingredients of this chocolate were only 70% cacao beans and 30% organic cane sugar. The bar was not certified organic.

This particular batch was roasted using higher temperature for a shorter time. Mantuano was made in their nut-free facility.

Inside the outer lovely craft paper wrapper, the two ounce bar was enclosed in heavy gold-sided foil. The best before date was August, 2014.

The bar was scored into 18 pieces, each with imprints of 5 parallel squiggles. Its appearance was excellent, with a clean, smooth surface.

Mantuano had a medium brown Dark Brown (PANTONE 19-1012) color. The snap was hard. The aroma contained smoky roast, moldy earth, and dairy scents.

The taste contained roast, earth, cinnamon spice, and fruit flavors. After the initial earth, spice, and fruit flavors, the roast quickly developed. I tasted smoke and coffee before malt completely dominated the remaining time.

I found the malt flavor overwhelming and not enjoyable. However, if you love that flavor, you might find this bar especially appealing.

On the label, the taste of this chocolate was described as "notes of fudge brownie and espresso with a lovely cinnamon finish."

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

You can purchase Dandelion Mantuano, Venezuela online in the U.S. for $8.95 from The Meadow or for $8.99 from Chocolopolis, and in the U.K. for £5.50 from Bean to Bar Chocolate. It is not currently available directly for $8.00 from Dandelion.

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