Saturday, January 5, 2013

Alter Eco Dark Blackout

2.82oz (80g) bar
Ingredients: Organic fair trade cocoa liquor, oft. cocoa butter, oft. cane sugar, oft. vanilla
6g sugar/40g serving (15% by wt.)

Corporate Info: Alter Eco reminds me of Equal Exchange, in that both companies import several organic crops (in this case cacao, quinoa, rice, and sugar) from developing nations, and both attempt to build a new model of globalized business by working closely with the farmers who produce the goods. The globalization goes up the chain, too, as the chocolate is processed in Switzerland and the co-founders are French, American, and Australian. I'd like to think more of these sorts of companies can prove profitable! Chocolate-wise, Alter Eco sells its variation on the standards, using orange peel instead of oil, adding coconut to its toffee, and even mixing in crunchy “quinoa-rice crisps.”

Today's Bar: Blackout, Alter Eco's 85% bar.

Appearance: You know, this is kind of pretty. It's just scored into a large grid, but the molding is clean and the imprint of the Alter Eco logo makes it look a little more “done” than some very simply molded bars. The color is a deep reddish brown with a light gloss.

Smell: Also simple, warm and red-berry tart.

Taste: Crunchy, then a quick melter—super smooth and cocoa-buttery. Ooh, very bitter on the front end, tannic but not heavy, like a light-bodied red wine. There's red fruit in there, tartness and the like, but really the tannins and the smoothness are what stand out for me.

Conclusion: Alter Eco Dark Blackout is super-smooth, a little tart, and dryly bitter like a light red wine.

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