Chocolate of the Day
Chuao 70% Cacao (bar)
Weight: 1.09 oz. (31 g.) / 2.19 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 169 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA
Bienvenidos (welcome) to Day #8 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.
Today's 20/20 Chocolates Chuao 70% Cacao (bar) was made, tree-to-bar, from cacao grown at "Hacienda Luna Clara C.A," (Chuao, Aragua) in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Aroma notes for this single origin/estate Venezuelan chocolate included: dark chocolate, fruit (subtle red berry, plum and ripe sweet blackberry) and faint warm spice (similar to a steamed Boston molasses brown bread with raisins + cinnamon), and barely detectable clean mineral water used to make a refreshing oolong tea.
The texture and melt were very smooth (silky and creamy).
The flavor notes included fainter versions of the aroma notes above. The taste was, as it usually is, more chocolate forward (true chocolate, sweet cocoa, smooth dark ganache with faint diffuse berry/fruit and barely detectable earth). There was a, fleeting, barely detectable (oolong tea-like) astringency toward the finish, but it was very mild and well-balanced.
I recommend you savor this chocolate slowly. Take some time to smell first, then taste. The "nose" was delightful--a soft blend of complex fruit and very light mineral, spice and tea--in addition to chocolate. The texture and flavor were silky smooth and sophisticated. (I'm guessing the cacao used was a fine Criollo* variety (gently complex and flavorful), possibly with a few Nacional or Trinitario cacao varietal traits--which can include slightly bolder, more acidic fruit (light citrus, berry) notes.
A wonderful single origin bar like this starts with a very fine cacao, which is then very skillfully executed into a very fine chocolate. (Thank you!) This chocolate showed why people have extolled the virtues of Venezuelan cacao for a very long time.
Ingredients: Cacao, cane sugar
Allergen-related information: (None listed on packaging that I could find.)
*Criollo cacao pods are often smaller and more delicate (and sometimes more disease prone). But their lighter hued beans are highly prized for their delicate and complex "heritage" aroma and flavor notes that can include stone fruits, delicate berries, and cream.