Charm School Chocolate
USA, Belize, 70%
Belize is a beautiful looking place, it’s about as close to a paradise as you can get on Earth. I’m not even a “beach guy” and it looks amazing, there are even cacao tours within the country. Maya Mountain Cacao has been instrumental in getting cacao from Belize to craft chocolate makers like Charm School Chocolate.
Belize grows many varieties of beans and I’m not sure what this 70% is (trinitario and something else?) but it has a nice density and heavy and slightly chalky snap to it. I’m actually a fan of bars with no score lines on them. I know it’s a detail but I really like the excuse it gives me to eat increasingly larger pieces.
I found this bar much more rewarding when I gave it more time. It smells sweet and undefined at first but there are little specks of sesame and sour fruit in there too. It’s subtle. Maybe just my imagination.
It’s more aggressive when you’re tasting it and reveals its best face once you’ve had it in your mouth for a minute or two. It travels your palate very quickly at first and does seem very much like a combination of cocoa powder and cocoa butter. It’s not unfamiliar. In my notes I wrote down “Oreos” and, according to Charm School’s packaging, chocolate sandwich cookies are in their own tasting notes. I also wrote down Kahlua, butter and graham cracker.
My favorite flavor in this bar is the sour/sweet aspect that only appears with a bit of patience. A taste not unlike what I like about ketchup potato chips (a Canadian staple): sweet, salty, sour and a bit of umami. Did I mention it’s vegan?
Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.