Sunday, June 14, 2020

Gallette Chocolates - Bahia (Brazil) Forastero 70% Chocolate bar - June 14, 2020

Chocolate of the Day:

Gallette Chocolates
Bahia Forastero 70% Chocolate bar
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.52 oz. (43 g.) / 3.53 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 230 calories in 1 serving (9 squares) of bar
Cost: $9.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from:, online order

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Brazil Theme Week.

Today's Bahia Forastero 70% Chocolate bar was from Gallette Chocolates LTDA (Sao Paolo, Brazil). 

Bahia is a state in northeastern Brazil (bigger than California, but smaller than Texas), is currently the largest producer/exporter of cacao in Brazil (a country about 86.6% the size of the U.S.).

Brazil, the world's sixth largest cacao producer once occupied the number two spot. However, a fungal disease decimated cacao trees and caused a decades-long steep decline in Brazil's cacao market from starting around 1989. The Forastero variety/strains of cacao, known to be more robust and disease-resistant (than more delicate heritage varieties), have played a large part in the country's rebounding cacao industry in recent years.

Today's Forastero 70% dark bar had an aroma with deep cocoa (dark drinking chocolate), light umami* and very faint, almost tart, processed green/green fuel notes. The melt was smooth with a very slight astringency/roughness in the texture--that was not really objectionable and almost vanished after the first bite or two. 

In fact the overall flavor of this chocolate seemed to improve as the tasting progressed. 

Iniitally all I tasted was deep and dark with a slightly roasted cocoa flavor and a mellow, almost marshmallow sweet overtone I associate with Forastero cacao-based chocolate. It had a nicely balanced bitterness to it.

After four tastings over as many hours I was tasting a bit of fruit (cherry notes) and a hint of nuts (walnut). Always re-taste chocolate over the course of the day if you can hold back that long. Flavors do evolve.

Forastero flights of fancy

You flavor fanciers may have enjoyed wine, beer and whiskey tasting flights, no? Well, this works with fine flavored chocolates as well.

This Gallette 70% chocolate made me want to pair this bar with other makers' Forastero-based 70% (or thereabouts) chocolate bars. Side-by-side tastings make it easier to detect subtle flavor nuances. Forastero cacao beans are known for their bold and "dense" flavor. So, rather than compare a Forastero-based chocolate with, e.g., a delicate complex rose of a Criollo heritage bar where the two might obliterate or depreciate each other, a flight of Forastero bars might be more edifying.


*Umami, or slightly savory, flavor(s) in chocolate are thought to be undesirable, a flaw if you will, by some chocolate tasters. I've always appreciated these flavor notes myself when they are well-behaved. Certain flavors arrive as unwanted dinner guests at some dinner tables. As long as they're relatively well-behaved and not too loud (and keep one foot on the floor at all times), I consider umami aroma/flavor notes to be interesting company. Otherwise we'd all be forced to eat the same dark chocolate pudding day after day. And wouldn't that be dull? 

BTW, I see on the Gallette website a box of small wedge-shaped chocolate confections that look like a cheese box filled with "cheese" wedges...If I can ever find this Gallette offering in the U.S., I will include these in my next Chocolate and Umami Theme Week.

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