Thursday, July 1, 2021

Ritual Chocolate - Ecuador Camino Verde 85% Cacao (bar) - July 1, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Ritual Chocolate
Ecuador Camino Verde 85% Cacao (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1.06 oz. (30 g.) / 2.12 oz. (60 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.95 for 1 bar (+ shipping)
Purchased from:, online order

Welcome to Day #7 of Chocolate and Ecuador Theme Week.

Today's Ecuador Camino Verde 85% Cacao (bar) was from Ritual Chocolate (Park City, UT).

Aroma notes that unfolded sequentially included: bread, light warm spice (cinnamon), fruit (light raisin, peach), dark chocolate (fudge brownie).

Like many ultra-dark bars, be ready to brace yourself before tasting. The flavor was different (darker) than the aroma.

This 85% bar had deep, almost unsweetened, dark chocolate flavor with hints of moldy bread/cheese, dark chocolate (unsweetened brownie), faint herb (licorice), a fleeting sour milk and fruit note (unsweetened tart cherry and orange peel in plain yogurt) and a faint charcoal roasted note.

These slightly funky bean flavors were more common in craft chocolate bars years ago. Now it's more unusual to taste them. But, as with all chocolates (and some red wines) leave them open for awhile and re-taste, and some of these flavors settle down a little.

This chocolate mellowed a bit. A long finish yielded a very faint nutty, buttery aged cheese (fontina, gouda) note--a few minutes after the first bites. 

And re-tasting this bar a few minutes later, was more pleasing (or less surprising perhaps). In fact, I plan to pair this chocolate with cheese or perhaps stir in an ounce (28 g.) or so into a cheese fondue. (If you can't "fix" it, feature it.)

Some of these flavor notes mentioned above can be traced back to fermentation of cacao that happened in Ecuador. These notes will be interesting and educational for cacao addicts and culinary adventurers, but may not be the preferred choice for those who enjoy light, uniform, sweet chocolates.

These interesting flavor notes were more exposed with lower sugar levels, which is to say that added sugar can dull/neutralize stronger flavors. With two-ingredient chocolates, like today's bar, chocolate makers make daring leaps; there is nothing to hide behind. And I am grateful to all craft makers who share the results with us.

The cacao (2019 harvest) used to make this bar (Batch 03) came from Camino Verde, Ecuador, not far from the city of Guayaquil on the Pacific coast. "Made with cacao that is carefully fermented and dried by Vicente Norero of Camino Verde in Ecuador. Vicente's unique fermentation techniques, along with Nacional cacao from a multitude of growers, give this chocolate its distinguishable, rich, chocolatey flavor."

The maker's tasting notes read: "Honey and fudge" 

Ingredients: Cacao, Organic cane sugar

Allergen-related information: May contain traces of peanuts, tree nuts, and wheat.

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