Saturday, February 3, 2024

Seattle Chocolate - jcoco - 85% Single Varietal Contamana Cacao Peruvian dark (bar) - Feb. 3, 2024

Chocolate of the Day

Seattle Chocolate Company
jcoco - 85% Single Varietal Contamana Cacao Peruvian dark (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1 oz. (28 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total package of 3 bars
Calories: 155 (estimate) calories in 1 small bar
Cost: $9.99 for 1 package of 3 smaller bars
Purchased from: Seattle Chocolate, online order 

Welcome to Day #5 of Chocolate and Peru Theme Week.

Today's jcoco 85% Single Varietal Contamana Cacao Peruvian dark (bar) was from Seattle Chocolate Company, Inc. (Seattle, WA) and was one of three identical, individually-wrapped bars contained in an attractively blue-purple hued, larger package. 

The Contamana* variety cacao used to make this bar was from the central-southern area of Peru (Cuzco region) in Quillabamba, in a valley (not that far from Machu Picchu), known for "its unique fine aroma cacao trees."

Aroma notes for this chocolate included: dark chocolate (rich cocoa); faint (muffled) fruit (ripe blackberry); subtle, balanced and fleeting rich, loamy + peat/tannic earth; and very faint botanical.

Texture: This well-tempered bar broke with a snap. The texture was pleasing and creamy smooth with the exception of a few very tiny crunchy (nib) particles in one bite. There was also a very faint, fleeting and very well-balanced tannic astringency.

Flavor notes included: flavorful dark chocolate (dark cocoa) with subtle, complex fruit (dark/red berry, citrus (faint lime), tropical fruit: cacao pulp); very faint botanicals (light spice); and balanced earth/light tannins. The finish was light, lingering and clean, especially for an 85%er.

What I liked about this bar: 1.) opportunity to try a single region, single varietal (Contamana) Peru chocolate; 2.) relatively smooth and approachable 85% ultra-dark chocolate with complex, interesting and balanced aroma and flavor notes; 3.) the maker's choice of a low roast**; and 4.) attractive packaging + three smaller, individually-wrapped bars that made it easy to share with/gift to others.

Ingredients: cracked cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin).

Allergen-related information: "This product is manufactured in a plant that processes milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg and wheat products."

*Contamana is a rare variety of cacao; and one of many varieties of cacao from South America (the birthplace of cacao). Just as there are many varieties of grapes used to make wine, there are many varieties of cacao that can be used to make chocolate.

**Maker's notes: "fermentation: 6 days; drying 5 days; roast: low"


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