Arete Fine Chocolate
Dominican Republic - Finca Elvesia 70% Organic Dark Chocolate bar
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 172 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA
Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and the Dominican Republic Theme Week.
This artfully-balanced and well-tempered Dominican Republic 70 percent organic bar from Arete Fine Chocolate (Milpitas, CA) had a rich green* aroma (a combination of green wood, green fruit and light green floral) with some faint hints of spice, aromatic/floral black pepper and dried fruit thrown in.
With the first bite, the organic chocolate—made with cacao beans grown at Finca Elvesia (farm/plantation in the Dominican Republic)—bloomed into a rich chocolate tasting arc with dried fruit (raisin, apricot), fine smooth coffee, nutty, chocolate, and baked cherry pie flavor notes.
The fine finish continued at a very low level for a minute, with mild bittersweet notes. (I've been told that shorter, in-country** fermentation times can result in (a deliberate) slight bitterness.)
What a great ride. And all from just two ingredients: organic cocoa beans and organic cane sugar. Thank you to David and Leslie Senk for embarking on their journey to excellence.
*I'm working on better words to describe my perception of "green." There are a wide range of smells and tastes associated with edibles that fall under this category: green wood, green plants, green fruit (e.g. green bananas), green floral or at the far end of this spectrum, green forest (that may also include some jungle loam and earth elements).
The green I'm picking up this week with chocolates made from DR cacao fall somewhere between green wood and green floral, with occasional hints of green fruit. However, I've found all these "green" elements to be well-balanced, delicate and well-balanced. It's a more subtle green than one might find, e.g., in some Ecuador bars.
** Fermentation is one of the first steps in chocolate-making. Almost all fermentation takes place "in-country", or in the country where the beans have been grown and harvested, and not where the final beans will be shipped for further steps (roasting, winnowing, conching, and ultimately tempering and molding, etc.).