Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Fresco 224 Dominican Republic

Richard's Rating: 7.0
chocolate makerFresco
regionDominican Republic
cacao treesunknown
size45g ~ 1.6oz
cocoa solids72%
added fatcocoa butter
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1015
appearancelined, scoring, smooth
aromaearth, astringent, roast (smoke, toast), fruit (prune)
snapmedium hard
tasteroast (cocoa, malt), earth, fruit (plum, lime, berry)
finishslightly tannin, slightly acidic
Fresco 224 is the second of Rob Anderson's 2013 formulations made from an identical harvest of Dominican Republic cacao. The recipes were nearly identical, differing primarily in their conching time. 224 was conched for a medium duration while 223 was conched only a short time.

Both chocolates were crafted in Fresco's nut-free facility from 72% cocoa solids (cacao beans plus added cocoa butter) and 28% cane sugar.

224 came wrapped in silver foil-sided wax paper inside a paper box. The bar reviewed here was number 0158 from batch 224-13-061, and was created on June 10, 2013. The best before date was July 2015.

As you can see above, the 45 gram bar was scored into 10 pieces, each of which was alternately lined either vertically or horizontally. The chocolate had a smooth appearance with minute bubbles in some of the corners that I probably wouldn't notice if I wasn't looking for them.

The color of 224 was a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015). The snap was medium hard.

The aroma contained earth, roast with smoke and toast, and a prune fruit scent. There was also an unexpected astringency in the aroma.

This chocolate tasted initially of roast cocoa and some earthiness. Fruit flavors similar to those in 223 developed, including plum, lime, and berry. Near the end, the roast flavor transitioned from primarily cocoa to primarily malt.

224 had a smooth melt. The length was medium, with the chocolate flavor lasting 25 to 30 seconds after the chocolate was gone. The finish was slightly tannin and slightly acidic.

Overall, I slightly preferred the sharper flavors of 223, even with its strong tea and tannin, but other palates may feel 224's more refined nature results in a better chocolate.

You can purchase 224 Dominican Republic online for $8.00 directly from Fresco or for $7.00 from Chocolopolis.

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