Friday, May 29, 2020

Ranger Chocolate - 80% Guatemala Polochic bar - May 27, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Ranger Chocolate
80% Guatemala Polochic bar
Good+++ - Very Good
Weight: 2.5 oz. (70.75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 382 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $10.50 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Ranger Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Maya Empire Theme Week. 

Centuries ago Guatemala was at the heart of the Maya Empire, and more than half of the country's current population, including many cacao farmers, are Maya descendants. This week features several Guatemala single origin bars. 

Ranger Chocolate (Portland, OR) likely used cacao grown in the Polichic river valley to make today's 80% Polochic Guatemala bar. The Polichic River flows from west--from the Dept. of Alta Verapaz east to the Dept. of Izabel/Lago Izabel in central Guatemala.* 

This chocolate had a bright, sweet dried fruit aroma (peach-apricot, cherry, light red raspberry) with green and faint floral notes. The melt and mouthfeel were smooth and creamy. 

The bar provided very well balanced chocolate and fruit flavors. I tasted a very faint fleeting spiced fruit (spiced peach compote with a hint of cinnamon and molasses) note on the first bite, which faded when I re-tasted the rest of the bar 20 minutes later. 

Our chocolate radar picked up a barely detectable (perhaps self-conjured), almost nutty, buttery mushroom/loam note--enough for a chocolate and umami lover to dream they'd hit the flavor trifecta.**

This bar was pleasing to the end, with a clean, true chocolate finish (that included a flourish of chocolate brownie batter) in the first few bites 

*Not far (as least as the crow flies--over the jungle) from the Polochic River lie ruins of impressive Maya cities. Across the country one can see stone temples and alters, hieroglyphs and stelae. Historic Maya sites in Guatemala include Iximche, Quirigua, Yaxha, El Mirador and Tikal. One of the largest cities, Tikal (200 - 900 A.D.) was once home to upwards of 200,000 people. It's estimated that the Maya Empire across the Yucatan peninsula area might have had a population of 2 million people.

**A trifecta is a three-fold win or series of three positive events, or a bet where the better correctly picks the three top winners, e.g. win(1st), place (2nd) and show (3rd) in a horse race.

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