1.76oz (50g) bar
Ingredients: Cacao liquor, sugar, cacao butter, soy lecithin
7g sugar/25g serving (28% by wt.)
Corporate Info: Most of the search results I'm finding are commercial or other reviews like mine, so I'll have to rely on República del Cacao's convoluted website. Since it's confusing I'm going to keep it short, and if you really want to learn more, feel free to peruse the site yourself. In brief, República del Cacao is a young company focusing on Ecuadorian cacao, which it claims to be particularly floral and fruity. The website seems to indicate that República del Cacao produces only three products, one from each of three provinces.
Today's bar is the one from Manabi Province. The site offers no photo of the packaging or description of the ingredients, instead providing a “flavor description map,” which gives you a pretty good idea of República del Cacao's approach to its chocolate (or at least its marketing). My questions are pretty obvious, then: Is this chocolate extra floral and fruity, and does the flavor map reflect my experience?
Appearance: A blocky little bar in a pleasant, warm brown with a hint of orange and a very slight gloss.
Smell: Fresh, beany, juicy.
Taste: Texture has some chew, in this case a little chalky, resisting the teeth and breaking down into pieces, then very thick and mouth-coating. Flavor-wise, I totally get floral—not in any weird way, just light and fragrant. I don't taste as much fruit, unless we're talking something tropical, the sort with a perfumey taste. Sweet enough, and with very little sour or bitter taste, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Also, with the first piece I started chewing, I got a hint of tobacco.
Let's check out the flavor map, which I'm simplifying here:
- High: “Chocolate” and “chocolate aroma.” These probably correspond to what I thought of as “beany.”
- Medium: Sweetness and “chocolate linger.” Sure.
- Low: Bitter, fluidness, floral, smoothness, floral linger, fruity, acidity, and “cooling.” While I did consider this fairly floral, otherwise these jibe with my impressions of both flavor and texture.
- Very low: Lingering flavors in general (including bitter, which I did taste a little) as well as “roasted” and “astringency.”
Actually, this flavor map does mostly describe my experience in eating the Manabi Province bar, which is kind of a fun exercise. I'm not sure I love the bar itself, but it certainly isn't bad; this is one of those personal preference things.
Conclusion: República del Cacao° Provincia Manabi 75% is beany and, to my mind, floral, but the real fun is seeing to what extent my experience eating it compares to the company's description. I guess the website is helpful after all!