Thursday, November 19, 2020

Cacao Crudo - Dark Organic Chocolate Fondente 90% (bar) - Nov. 19, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Cacao Crudo S.r.l.
Dark Organic Chocolate Fondente 90% Peru (bar)
(Cioccolato Fondente Bio Criollo Non Tostato 90% Peru)
Good +++
Weight: .88 oz. (25 g.) / 1.76 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 159.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: N/A - sample 
Purchased from: N/A - sample

Ciao, Hola and Greetings from California. Welcome to Day #12 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week. 

Today's Dark Organic Chocolate 90% Peru bar was crafted by Cacao Crudo S.r.l. (Roma (Rome), Italy), using cacao beans grown in Peru, and was eventually shipped to California, where I live. Food often involves complex supply chains, and this is certainly true for chocolate.

The chocolate was made using high-quality, un-roasted Criollo cacao (beans). Cacao beans are generally roasted as part of the process of chocolate making. Roasting can develop certain flavors, but can also lead to a loss of other--often more delicate or volatile--flavors (e.g. green and floral notes). Each variety and/or batch of cacao may call for a different roasting profile.

Criollo cacao is prized for its subtle yet complex flavor notes, including: milder stone fruits, cream, light caramel. In skilled hands, a low roast (or in today's case a "no" roast) profile/choice can preserve subtle, heritage Criollo flavors and result in a truly great chocolate.

As mentioned in previous Cacao Crudo chocolate bar reviews, I believe the company has fulfilled the promise of what raw chocolate can be.* This 90% bar had an aroma that evoked fresh, alive, vibrant green (plants, green coconut) with faint floral and herbal notes.

It had a smooth, creamy melt and texture.

The flavors included freshly picked, mildly sweet, green coconut with light herbal notes, and a slightly nutty roundness in the finish. 

This was a very pleasant and accessible ultra dark bar with mild-medium acidity and a balanced, very light bitterness and low astringency. I highly recommend tasting this next to a conventional 90% bar made with roasted cacao. The differences may surprise you.

Ingredients: Organic, unroasted cacao beans ("Criollo beans paste"); organic concentrated coconut flower sap.

*Raw cacao is typically quite a bit higher in minerals (like iron, magnesium and potassium), and in certain enzymes and anti-oxidants, but traditionally has been much milder in flavor. Whereas roasting can help add flavor (that many people like) and also can help minimize/eliminate potentially harmful bacteria. So, some people shied away from earlier attempts at raw chocolate. Thank you Cacao Crudo for showing us out of this perceived dichotomy, with delicious proof that raw chocolate can be wonderful, without sacrifice.

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