Single Origin Peru
85% Cacao (RAW)
Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Cocout Palm Sugar
This cute looking little bar was on sale at my local health foods store so I decided I’d try it. They had a number of inclusion bars from Santosha as well, but I decided on sampling the single origin bar to see how just the chocolate was. I also hadn’t had any Peru originating chocolate before this.This bar is definitely being advertised towards folks shopping at a health foods store, I’ll say that much. They have a lot of labels right there on the front of the bar.
The one that I was interested in was the “Raw” label though. I hadn’t had raw chocolate before this bar and I was interested in seeing how it compared to chocolate where the beans have been roasted.(1/13/17 Edit: I realized upon looking back at old posts that the Endorfin Foods Turkish Coffee bar I reviewed was actually a raw bar. Whoops, my bad.) I also did some research on the Santosha website to see exactly how they make their “Raw” bar. They eliminate the roasting process entirely, and grind at low speeds and low temperatures to keep the chocolate from being cooked at all.
Okay sounds simple enough. Though I was a little leary at this point. Roasting helps develop the flavors of chocolate, and this bar hadn’t been roasted at all.
The inside of the bar packaging says”Instead of roasting our beans like the majority of artisan chocolate producers, our process preserves the living enzymes and other micro nutrients…”. This bar is definitely being marketed as a health food.
I’m not a fan of the packaging for this bar. It’s waaay to big and doesn’t look clean at all.
It’s an interesting looking bar. I didn’t think it would break cleanly at all because of the weird valley down the middle of the bar, but it broke into nice pieces easily enough. It wasn’t a very pretty looking bar, but I carried it in my bag, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt(the back of the bar is not very level though. Nit picky but this is suppose to be an artisan chocolate bar)
First smell of the bar is very planty with a hint of chocolate. And also very familiar. Because the cacao has not been roasted, it’s not really going to have the same flavor and smell profiles of a bar that has been roasted to enhance and develop flavors. Chocolate is a fermented food and roasting helps mellow or remove some of the more unsavory flavor the cacao might have.
First bite and I immediately realize why the bar smells so familiar. It’s raw it tastes exactly like a bucket of cacao beans smells. Which is very planty and very fermented smelling. Like a vinegary wine. This bar is definitely on par with some of the more pungent beans that I have smelled. While that’s a smell that I don’t actually mind, it’s not a flavor that I want coating the inside of my mouth.
There are some other flavors to the bar if you can get around the fermented bean taste though. A touch of caramel is what I gathered from it, as well as something else that was almost a little nutty possibly.
For 85% it’s also a fairly sweet bar.
Texture wise, it’s close to wet sand. It’s a very gritty bar, and has an awful mouth feel. There is no smoothness to it at all. When I eat chocolate I’m looking for a uniform smooth texture. Key word being smooth.
Would I recommend this bar? Not likely. If someone is interested in what raw cacao tastes like then maybe, but otherwise, there are much better chocolates out there.
This one boasts a lot of fancy labels and properties, but I personally eat chocolate because I like how a good bar tastes and it makes me happy, which I think are mental health benefits enough.
Half the labels on this bar apply to most single origin, craft chocolate bars anyways. They’re usually comprised of sugar and chocolate and maybe a hint of vanilla. Those bars will be vegan, gluten free, nut free and soy free by default of the nature of the bar. Many are also Non-GMO and Organic.
If you are interested in buying one of these bars to test it yourself or checking out a selection of other bars by Santosha Chocolate, you can visit their website at Santoshachocolate.com.