Friday, August 4, 2023

Zotter - "My name is Bunny, Easter Bunny" - 72% Peru Chuncho + 75% Guatemala dark chocolate bars - Aug. 4, 2023

Chocolate(s) of the Day

Zotter Chocolates US LLC
"My Name is Bunny, Easter Bunny"
(Set of 2 different dark chocolate bars)

1.) 72% Peru Chuncho
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .615 oz. (17.5 g.) / 1.23 oz. (35 g.) in 1 bar

2.) 75% Guatemala 
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: .615 oz. (17.5 g.) / 1.23 oz. (35 g.) in 1 bar

Calories: 205 calories in 1/2 of each bar (1/2 package)
Cost: $8.49 (estimate) for 1 set of 2 bars
Purchased from: Zotter US, online order

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate Surprise Theme Week, including chocolates with some exotic or surprising element(s), and/or chocolates that were/are just plain fun.

Today's 72% Peru Chuncho and 75% Guatemala dark chocolate bars were made in Austria and distributed by Zotter Chocolates US LLC (Fort Myers/Cape Coral, FL).

These two dark chocolates were packaged together as a set of 2 bars, providing an opportunity for a side-by-side tasting experience. Both were part of the company's "Labooko" line of pure chocolate bars. (The company also produces a variety of interesting hand-scooped, filled bars and other unique and delightfully surprising confections.) 

Zotter packaging design and illustrations are colorful and fun. Today's James Bond-like, bow-tie clad bunny (leaning on a bar and holding a martini-like cocktail) was no exception.

Below are my tasting notes, followed by Zotter's tasting notes for their two bars.

72% Peru Chuncho (bar)

Aroma notes included: smooth, sweet dark chocolate (chocolate cookie, ganache); faint cracker or savory snack; and faint diffuse fruit (sweet tropical fruit (mango) and sweet, almost floral (vanilla, rose), red berry jam on freshly baked bread).

The texture was smooth and creamy; and flavor notes included: smooth chocolate-y (dark chocolate torte, frosting/fudge), diffuse fruit (tropical (mango), sweet, slightly tart red berry, cherry plum, and watermelon), and barely detectable, spice, clean mineral, floral and salted cracker notes. 

This 72% dark Peru bar with gentle, nuanced complexity had balanced, bright fruit acidity, and was low in bitterness--consistent with Peru Chuncho cacao's reputation.*

Zotter fragrance notes: "fruity and floral, tropical fruit mix, caramelized nuts, salty pretzels"

Zotter taste notes: "sweet and mild, lightly salted crackers, nutty notes, cream, exotic fruit (echoes of mango, banana and watermelon), nutty cracker finish"

75% Guatemala (bar)

Aroma notes for this 75% bar included: bold dark chocolate; tart-sweet, dried fruit (peach, plum, berry, banana); very light bitter/acidic earth (peat); and very faint leather.

Flavor notes for this creamy 75% dark chocolate included: bold, yet balanced and smooth, cacao notes; deep chocolate (Forastero/Trinitario cacao); diffuse dried fruit (berries, banana, stone fruits); fleeting nut (peanut); fleeting warm spice; very faint, fleeting, balanced earth; and very faint, fleeting savory. 

The cacao itself, judiciously added cocoa butter by the maker, and sophisticated techniques (like fine-mist roasting) yielded creamy texture; balanced, sophisticated layered flavors that were bold but without the "rough edges" that might be more/too intense for some.

Zotter fragrance notes: "intense fruity notes of berries, cherries, banana and peach"

Zotter taste notes: "mild notes of lightly salted lye (sic) roll, sweet spice mix, intense mix of fruit: notes of exotic fruit, berries, cherries, peach, watermelon, mild peppery, fruity finish"

Thank you to Zotter for all that they continue to offer. Today's 3-ingredient, single origin dark chocolate bars (made with organic and fair trade cacao) were well-balanced and smooth, yet had surprisingly subtle complexity. This set would be an enjoyable after meal dessert; well-suited for a high-end chocolate tasting; and appropriate for a sophisticated, James Bond-like, bunny.


*Peruvian cacao notes:

Many varieties of cacao can be found growing in different cacao-growing regions of Peru, including Criollo, Trinitario, Forastero and Nacional.

Chuncho cacao is prized by chocolate makers for its aroma and flavor characteristics. Bar & Cocoa (an online specialty/high-end chocolate retailer in the U.S.) offers this description:

"Chuncho cacao encompasses around a dozen related cultivars of the Upper Amazon Forastero group, now considered to be native to the Quillabamba Valley of central Peru. They're believed to have been domesticated by the Matchiguenga people, whose members were ancestral inhabitants of the Valley."


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