Summer in Belgium. Temperatures drop below 20°C. While this is bad news for people enjoying their hollidays, it means I can finally pull out some chocolate bars from my stock again. Time for some reviews!
Today a bar made by Republica Del Cacao. A company based in Ecuador, dedicated to set quality bars made of the local arriba cocoa on the market. What I really like about their vision, is that they don’t simply produce Ecuador single origin chocolate. They make a range of bars made with cocoa from different provinces in the country. It offers a great view on how the taste of cocoa is affected by small difference in geographical location. It gives you the opportunity to understand the complexity of cocoa and single origin chocolate in a whole and gives you a sense of how vastly different this product is from industrial regular chocolate.
They primiraly use Arriba Nacional cocoa, native to Ecuador and renowned for floral notes. The cocoa used in this bar was grown in the Manabi province in Ecuador, situated on the Western coast of Ecuador. Manabi produces lots of agricultural products, ranging from cocoa, tobacco over cotton, wood and seafood. It is also known for the production of high quality Panama hats.
The packaging doesn’t differ from the other bars from Republica Del Cacao. The generous 100 g bar is tucked away in a bright cardboard box. It’s design featurs the company logo, percentage of the bar , origin and a text on the cocoa used and tasting notes to be expected. They even display GPS coordinates on the region de cocoa was harvested.
The bar itself is large. With big squares of delicate chocolate. As usual, the company logo is embossed in the pieces. I’ve always liked their design and this hasn’t changed.
Origin: Manabi province – Ecuador
Maker: Confiteca CA – Quito, Ecuador
Price: Gift by a friend, imported directly from Ecuador
Colour: Deep and dark ebonny brown.
Aroma: chocolaty, spicy – pepper, ginger, cinnamon
Taste: the bar has a nice and hard snap – It starts of a tad sweet and requiers time to start delivering it’s flavors. The taste slowly builds to roasted nuts, dark chocolate, coffee and sudden spike of warm spices. It has a touch of chili pepper flavor, without the heat on the tongue. When the pepper note subdues, a honney sweetness comes forth, carrying warm spices like cinammon and preserved ginger. Next returns the massive wave of deep and dark chocolate tones. Despite the hard snap and nice texture, the chocolate melts really quick and is gone to soon. The aftertaste leaves you with roasted nuts, coffee and more chocolate.
The bar offers a distinct flavor profile. It starts slowly, peaks in flavor notes and subdues again. While it offers less complexity compared to some other chocolate bars, yet gives you pretty particular aroma’s I only found in other Republica Del Cacao andVietnamese origin chocolate so far. The spices are a nice touch and add a warm overal feel to the chocolate,
Texture wise this is one of the better bars I tried so far from Republica Del Cacao. It show less filming on the tongue, making it very enjoyable in the mouth.
It might not be the most refined bar out there, but it offers plenty of flavor and is interesting to experience. Yet somehow I wish they would go for bolder flavors. The company seems to produce atractive, harmonious chocolate bars without wild aromas. Yet it is easily understood the average chocolate customer may not be acusomed to the exciting notes of high quality chocolate and is more likely to buy products closer to what they know. Thanks to chocolate makers like Republica Del Cacao, the general public might slowly start changing it’s view on chocolate as a product and realise there is better stuff out there than the generic bars we find in the local supermarket.