Sunday, February 11, 2024

Castronovo Chocolate - Salitral, Peru 70% Desert Criollo Cacao (bar) - Feb. 11, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Castronovo Chocolate
Salitral Peru 70% Desert Criollo Cacao (bar)
Good +++
Weight: 1.1 oz. (31 g.) / 2.2 oz. (62 g.) in total bar
Calories: 180 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Castronovo Chocolate, online order

Welcome to Day #13 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's Signature Collection, Salitral, Peru 70% Desert Criollo Cacao (Batch #1349) (bar) was from Castronovo Chocolate (Stuart, FL). 

Chocolate maker Denise Castronovo used "...a mix of native criollo cacao from the northern coastal desert region of Piura--where the Amazon meets the desert coast..." to make this bar. She was intrigued to read the words "desert" and "native criollo cacao" together. (Me too!) I've always imagined the more "delicate" native criollo cacaos growing under the shade of taller trees in temperate rainforests.* 

Aroma notes included: dark chocolate (drinking chocolate, cocoa); very faint soft, sweet green botanical (light floral and spice); and faint, diffuse fruit (green fig, berry) and nut (almond).

This 70% bar broke with a well-tempered hard snap, and had a uniform, smooth, almost creamy, pleasing texture.

Flavor notes included: smooth dark chocolate with a very pleasing flush of bright, complex fruit (citrus, cacao fruit, berry) and very faint nut notes. It also had a pleasant finish.

Maker's tasting notes: "This chocolate boasts bright citrus and tropical fruit flavors up front that transition into delicate nutty and spice flavors at its finish..."

Ingredients: cocoa beans*, cane sugar*, cocoa butter* (*organic ingredients)

Allergen-related information: Made in a nut-free facility that uses milk and wheat.

*Deserts are associated with a limited tree (canopy) cover. However, like grapes, coffee or other fruit crops from the Equatorial belt, certain varieties of cacao trees/fruit are better-suited for areas with direct sun (vs. growing under a canopy) than others. Coastal desert areas also provide more humidity (e.g. coastal fog) than inland deserts. (I have seen, e.g. introduced cacao trees growing in Hawaii with no tree cover, but they're also growing very close to the Pacific ocean, and at a higher (cooler) latitude.)

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