Monday, December 5, 2022

Fresco Chocolate - Lamas Andean Amazon, Peru 100% (bar) - Dec. 5, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Fresco Chocolate
Lamas Andean Amazon, Peru 100% (bar)
Good - Good +
Weight: .9 oz. (25 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50 g.) in total bar
Calories: 127.5 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $13.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Lamas Andean Amazon, Peru 100% (bar) was made by Fresco Chocolate (Lynden, WA). (It was labeled: Recipe 283, Batch 21-465.)

Fresco offers different recipe and batch-labeled (single origin) chocolate bars (made with different roast and conche levels), allowing buyers to better appreciate different flavor nuances that result from different choices, and to conduct their own side-by-side chocolate tastings (and comparisons) at home or with friends.

I paired this 100% ultra-dark bar with its 74% sibling (featured yesterday), made with the same Lamas Andean Amazon cacao. The cacao was from the Lamas Province in the San Martin Region of northern Peru, and home to Oro Verde, a co-operative of over 700 small farmers producing certified organic cacao.

This 100%er had a subtle ultra-dark chocolate aroma with faint, fleeting well-done toasted bread and very faint tropical fruit notes.

As with yesterday's 74% cacao version of this single origin bar, the medium conche resulted in smooth, even texture.

Flavor notes included: ultra-dark chocolate with bitter (slightly fruit-herbal tannic astringency) and charcoal notes

For those already on the fence about dark chocolate, I wouldn't call this easily approachable. But, I still enjoyed trying it, if for no other reason than I could more easily taste the effects that added sugar has on taste.

For example, it became clear that the faint, diffuse fruit (dark berry) note in yesterday's Fresco 74% cacao version of this Peru bar was likely at least enhanced (if not inferred) due to added sugar.

The dark roast choice for this single ingredient chocolate also seemed more obvious--even "severe"--in this 100% version, with no sugar to cushion the blow. Assuming the roast times were the same for the 74% and 100% bars, added sugar made the 74%er dark roast cacao more "friendly." (It would be like adding sugar and a (non-intuitive twist of lemon peel) to mellow a dark roast espresso.)

Thank you to the maker for providing us with these educational options. Nothing can take the place of a side-by-side tasting to learn more about what you like.

Maker's notes on cacao origin: "This Andean Amazon region produces fine flavor cacao with deep herbal notes that can include tannins reminiscent of green banana."

Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans

Allergen-related information: "Free from: gluten, dairy, nuts, soy"

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