Tag Archives: Trinitario chocolate

Szántó Tibor Chocolate

As you already know, each chocolatier creates different tastes and textures, even if they use the same beans and equipment. So, you can have a company that produces stone ground bean to bar chocolate that has a very coarse grainy texture, or a more refined texture. You can even have one company that creates varying textures using the same machinery, like Szántó Tibor.

These bars are packaged in a fetchingly designed cardboard box adorned with dark brown images that relate to chocolate consumption, chocolate love, and chocolate manufacture. Much to my delight, they have inner resealable cellophane wrappers.

All of the chocolates I tried are 70%, and tempered to an audible snap. A free-form design of a cocoa tree looks as if it has been engraved on each. The thinness of all the bars allows them to melt more quickly providing a turbo-charged cacao delivery system.

Here’s the run-down:

Cacao Roja from Honduras has an earthy profile and a slight acidic edge.

Hispaniola from San Cristobal, Santo Domingo, is another bar with hints of smoke and a touch of leather, though there is also a pronounced fruitiness. The texture is smoother than the Cacao Roja.

Trinitario from S. Elizabeth, Jamaica is complex with oak, smoke, and spicy flavors. Again, the texture is smoother than the Roja. The Roja is not crunchy, but there are still tiny grains of gently crunchy nibs, like little textural exclamation points.

San Cristobal from Santo Domingo is a much more grainy bar, for those of you who like to echt quality of stone ground chocolate, and it speaks in my taste buds in hushed tones of soil, forest, and citrus, with a nice short finish.

Raw Arriba from Ecuador, tastes very pure and simple, with an atypical cocoa freshness. Quite different from the floral Arribas I have reviewed in the past; probably, because of the earthier texture.

Inti from Ayacucho, Peru, has a smooth, slightly creamier texture and hints of raisin and tobacco.

Cacao Blanco from Nicaragua has a whiffs of coffee and tobacco in a more conched, hence silkier, texture.

Malagasy Criollo from Millot, Madagascar (from the 2012 spring harvest), reveals apricot and lychee, giving it a bit of a dry finish.

My favorite was the Criollo from Venezuela, an Academy of Chocolate Bronze winner for 2013. I am partial to Criollos, and this bar is superb. The texture is velvety, the flavor both elegant and full of nuance. A little peach, a bit of grape, a melange of fruit notes without the citrus that leave my palate feeling fully sated from its deep chocolate presence and soft, but lingering finish.

For all you chocophiles who want to know more, there is a plethora of information on their website: http://www.szantotibor.com/

Ritual Chocolate 75%

Eating dark chocolate has been a daily ritual in my life for as long as I can remember, so the name, Ritual Chocolate, and its intention to make a ritual of eating this fine product, immediately resonated with me. After all, it is the rituals in our lives that keep us centered. Chocolate has always been one of my go-to grounding techniques as it reliably reminds me of sensuality, complexity, and unalloyed hedonistic joy. Of course, not all chocolates are capable of inspiring such reveries, but Ritual Chocolate’s 2009 Vintage Trinitario is up for the task. One bite and you are transported to the essence of Costa Rican beans carefully roasted, winnowed, and conched for several days to produce one of the most sublime textures to grace your lips.

This snappily tempered, glossy bar, with its juxtaposition of earthy and dark berry notes, beguiled me with its lingering, slightly dry finish. The texture has that lovely, almost chewy quality I find so much more like food and less like candy. Even using that word seems heretical when speaking of such an echt product. You can taste the careful attention to detail, sustainability, and quality in every incredibly satisfying bite.

If you are a real aficionado of vintage chocolate, sample this bar. With its pure, short ingredient list of cacao beans and sugar, Ritual Chocolate has captured the essence of Costa Rican Trinitario from the Guapiles region.