Fresco Artisan Chocolate
O'Payo Profundo Nicaragua 70% Recipe 272 - Dark Roast, Long Conche (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .9 oz. (25 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 136.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: Part of a $57 chocolate tasting (that included 5 different bars)
Purchased from: Fresco Artisan Chocolate/Chocolopolis.com
Welcome to Day #5 of Fresco Chocolate Tasting Series (of five different bars), and Day #3 of Chocolate and Central America Theme Week.
Today's O'Payo* Profundo Nicaragua 70% Recipe 272 - Dark Roast, Long Conche (bar) was made by Fresco Artisan Chocolate (Lynden, WA).
The aroma notes of this bar included subtle, balanced bitter, roasted notes with a very faint, fleeting green floral. Any "bitterness" receded quickly--and was cushioned by light, diffuse fruit sweetness, and very faint tart green (oxalis).
The melt and mouthfeel were very satisfying: fudge-y, creamy smooth, almost nut buttery. (This was true for all three Fresco Nicaragua 70% bars in this series.)
Flavor notes included a tart-sweet creaminess, intertwined with flavorful true chocolate (fudge brownie, dark chocolate torte) with accelerating red fruit, jam (strawberry soda with clean mineral water then strawberry milkshake).
This well-executed, flavorful bar was bright, well-balanced and smooth without being boring or over-roasted. Not every dark roast bar lands in the Goldilocks zone--where flavors are optimally developed without tipping over into the over-roasted zone, where they tend to disappear. For this kind of success you need high-quality cacao, careful fermentation and a skilled and thoughtful chocolate maker.
Fresco's chief chocolate maker, Rob Anderson, described his dark roast profile this way: "...flavor peaks and valleys softened to a melodic harmony."
Maker's general tasting notes for this O'Payo Profundo Nicaragua cacao: "...naturally occurring notes of spice, floral and nuts...incredibly flavorful..."
Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter. organic cocoa butter. ??
Allergen-related information: "Free from gluten, dairy, nuts, soy"
*O'Payo Profundo Nicaragua cacao is "an organic fine cocoa variety (grown in) the Waslala municipality, within the Basawas Natural Reserve in the northern mountains of Nicaragua." (Fresco maker, Rob Anderson, also mentioned: "O'Payo is a farmer's name.")
"Profundo" may refer the the relatively long fermentation time for this cacao. (Anderson also worked with producer Ingemann Fine Cocoa in Nicaragua to obtain these single origin cacao beans.)