Thursday, July 13, 2023

Patricia's Chocolate - Fortunato No. 4 - 68% Peruvian Grand Cru Dark Chocolate - July 13, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

Patricia's Chocolate 
Fortunato No. 4 - 68% Peruvian Grand Cru Dark Chocolate
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .56 oz. (16 g.) in a 2-piece tasting sample package
Calories: 87 calories (estimate) in a 2-piece package
Cost: $3.80 (estimate) for a 2-piece package 
Purchased from: Patricia's Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Fortunato No. 4 - 68% Peruvian Grand Cru Dark Chocolate was from Patricia's Chocolate (Grand Haven, MI).

Aroma notes for this Pure Nacional* cacao-based chocolate included: smooth dark chocolate, light fruit and floral, and very faint tart sweet green herb (oxalis) and light, aromatic tea.

The 68% dark chocolate had a very smooth, creamy melt and texture.

Attractively complex flavor notes included: smooth, sophisticated dark chocolate, diffuse fruit (sweet, refreshing red berry), and very faint caramel and refreshing (light, floral) sweet green tea.

Ingredients: (None listed on small package.)

Allergen-related information: (None listed on small package.)

*As chocolate lovers become more familiar with the variety of cacao(s) grown, (like grape varieties in wine) there has been more discussion about aroma and flavor associated with different varieties. The main three varieties often mentioned are Forastero, Trinitario and Criollo. But, it's more complicated than that.

The relatively rare and precious Fortunato Nacional (Pure Porcelana) heritage cacao beans used in today's chocolates were from Peru. This Nacional cacao was thought to have disappeared (due to disease and habitat changes), but in 2011 it was "rediscovered" in a Maranon River Canyon in Peru. (Fortunato is the name of the farmer on whose land these trees grow.)

Porcelana cacao (white beans/seeds when cut open) originated in South America and is associated with Criollo cacao/cultivars. Piura Porcelana can be found in northern Peru and is often associated with Nacional cacao. Confused yet? Nacional heritage cacao (associated with Ecuador and Peru) shares some properties Criollo variety heritage cacao. Both have soft, layered complex flavors that can include mild floral, fruit and nut.

Bottom line: Criollo and Porcelana cacaos are highly prized, but can be more delicate and prone to diseases. Only a small percentage of chocolates sold are made with fine Criollo/Porcelana cacaos. The majority of chocolate sold worldwide is made with the bolder Forestero and/or Trinitario cacao varieties as well as hybrids and cultivars of all the varieties listed above.

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