Sunday, May 31, 2020

Nuance Chocolate - Guatemala Lachua 2015 70% (bar) - May 31, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Nuance Chocolate
Guatemala Lachua 2015 70% (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1.94 oz. (55 g.) in total bar
Calories: 300 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $8.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Nuance Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and Maya Empire Theme Week.

Today's Guatemala Lachua 2015 70% (bar) was from Nuance Chocolate (Fort Collins, CO).

The bar was made using "Trinitario cacao from the Alta Verapaz mountains in Coban, Guatemala."*

Made only with cacao, cane sugar and cocoa butter, this three-ingredient chocolate still conjured up its own unique impression.

It had a relatively uniform sweet grape aroma and flavor with sweet fruit (red grapes, melon, very sweet tangerine, sweet tea) acidity, a fleeting faint nuttiness and relatively low bitterness. Re-tasting multiple times revealed slightly more flavor complexity; however, I kept thinking of sangria (sweet wine and fruit beverage).

A sweet lingering finish and a slight astringency tickled the back of the throat for a short while. After re-tasting a very subtle, fleeting herbal (caraway and coriander) note appeared in the finish as well. 

This 70% cacao bar (presumably with 30% percent sugar) tasted more like a 60% cacao offering (with 40% sugar)--serving as a good example of why 70% cacao (and 30% sugar) may be a fine blend for many artisan dark bars, but some cacao beans can do with less sugar. It would have been interesting to have a side-by-side tasting with a 75% or 77% cacao version (i.e. with only 25-23% sugar) using the same Guatemala cacao. It's hard to know which would have been judged "best"--a subjective term in any case. 

The Nuance chocolate maker's tasting notes read as follows:

"A complex chocolate with juicy layers of rum, wine, raisins, and papaya. Magical things happen right at the melting point. A slightly dry finish, with moderate acidity."

*Coban is also the name of the capital city of the Department of Alta Verapaz in central Guatemala in the Chama Mountains. It was founded about 1538 near Mayan ruins and was named for the Indian chieftain Cobaou. Agricultural exports have included: coffee, tea, cacao, vanilla, orchids, livestock, lumber/hardwoods.

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