Most adults come to realize that messing with other people’s expectations is a dangerous game, almost always resulting in disappointment and lingering negative vibes. So, it’s natural to backpedal a bit, just to be sure you aren’t overstating something’s value. I was reminded of this when reading the back of Amano’s chocolate box. Founder Art Pollard wrote, “I hope you enjoy our chocolate.” While charming, it is a major understatement, and one designed to make your first taste of his bars an even more delicious surprise.
Amano’s two new offerings: Dos Rios from the Dominican Republic, and Guayas, from the Guayas River Basin in Ecuador are very different from each other, but equally remarkable. The Dos Rios bar is more challenging, with its echoes of warm clove, woodsy overtones, and intense earthiness. Others who have tasted this discern Bergamot orange flavor, I did not. A complex and very satisfying bar with a rustic gestalt. Amano’s Guayas is its own ode to chocolate. One bite transports you to chocolate nirvana. The texture floods your mouth with silkiness, but not of the Lindt variety, which I like but find fairly simplistic. This chocolate offers itself up in a multi-layered taste and texture experience that can only be described as sensuous. The wild Nacional bean from Ecuador is renowned for its floral notes. I have to agree with Art that it is a masterful blend of “sophistication and untamed nature.”
More information for the true chocophile: “Unlike many chocolates from Ecuador and Central America, Guayas is 100% free from CCN-51 (a prolific cocoa hybrid that contributes to the depletion of the soil and is quickly replacing native varieties of cacao, such as Nacional). By ensuring Guayas is free from this pernicious hybrid, Amano is taking an important step in the preservation of native heirloom varieties of cacao, as well as showcasing Nacional’s incredible flavor in its purest form.”