Republica Del Cacao: Los Rios 75% Dark Chocolate Bar

Republica Del Cacao Los Rios 75% Educador Dark Chocolate Bar - Arriba Nacional cacao Strolling the isles of the supermarket, what you do NOT find is unadorned nuance. One finds adornment meant to give the impression of nuance, but not nuance itself. Wine, and some of the more heavy duty cheese counters, are notable exceptions. But for sake of making grand, sweeping statements because they sound important and dramatic:

Nuance is not really on speaking terms with consumer culture.

It is the thing, THAT thing, whatever that thing is, that we want. The name of it suffices to give us the pleasure we experience: Champagne, BMW, Free Range–all terms we are fond of, but which we can lose, a sort of not seeing the forest for the trees in inverse.

So why get all philosophical when I really just want to write a note about a great chocolate bar?

Because I am BLOWN AWAY.

Republica del Cacoa’s Los Rios 75% dark chocolateAt a staff meeting yesterday we opened up a bar of one of the newest entries to the high end single origin dark chocolate bar makers: the Los Ríos 75% cacoa dark chocolate bar by República del Cacao. This proved to be quite a distraction from the rest of the things we were hoping to cover in the meeting, and launched us on five discussions at once, many of them critical of our own inclination toward summarizing things in grand sweeping gestures.

Ecuador’s Rivers`The Los Ríos chocolate bar is packed with a rambunctious family of baking spices, from cinnamon to nutmeg to allspice to ginger. Sliding the wax-paper wrapped bar from its box, you are accosted with all the thankful aroma of a pumpkin pie bake-off. Behind that, there is some fruit–maybe pear–though that flavor might be the result of associations drawn from the chocolate bar’s distinctly pear-like texture.

We talk about the flavor of an Ecuador chocolate all the time, about the nature of the Nacional Arriba cacao as manifest in such illustrious chocolate bars as the lovely Guittard Quevedo 65% Cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, the bright and well-executed Guaranda 71% single origin dark chocolate bar by Chocovic, and the super good Domori Arriba 70%. Doubtless, each of these bars is different (now is not the time to get into it, but maybe soon?), but how much of this difference derives from the cocoa maker and how much from the actual beans themselves? Is there a difference in the beans themselves? We can only speculate and opine.

But get this:

Republica del Cacao makes THREE (3) Ecuadorian Arriba Nacional dark chocolate bars, count them, three, tres, trois, chocolate bars from three different provinces in Ecuador’s vast and bountiful chocolate producing regions:

  1. The Republica del Cacao Los Ríos Province 75% bar;
  2. The Republica del Cacao El Oro Province 67% Dar Chocolate bar (very earthy, lightly spiced, silky, tannic, woodsy), and;
  3. The Republica del Cacao Manabi Province 75% Dark Chocolate bar (fruit! almonds, more spice, milder and less complex than the others),

The bold differences and glimmering similarities between the three chocolate bars by Republica del Cacao makes for an extraordinary journey through the beautiful, and beautifully varied climes of Ecuador. On its own, the Los Ríos is a complex and potent (if slightly crazy) chocolate bar suitable for snacking on the go, for use in a nice calming cup of drinking chocolate, or for heavy partying.

One Response to “Republica Del Cacao: Los Rios 75% Dark Chocolate Bar”

  1. on 18 May 2009 at 11:52 pmAndrew Gifford

    Fantastic writing! I’m a huge fan of healthy dark chocolate and have since become a huge fan of this blog. Great work. I was surprised to see a great article in New York Times about Xocai dark chocolate- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/nyregion/10chocolate.html?_r=1&hp

    I blogged about it at- http://newyorktimeschocolate.com – check it out. Thanks.

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