USA, Camino Verde/Ecuador, 73%
Pitch Dark, as they say on their packaging, create “modern American chocolate” and their Ecuador 73% should do any fan of the new wave right.
I’ll just have to start by saying that this bar’s great reward is actually easy to miss. This is a very good bar, everything on the surface of it will satisfy a lot of chocolate lovers. It’s beautifully packaged and the overall presentation, right down to the bar, is one of attention. It’s well tempered, has a great texture, a good snap and a rich soil-y aroma. It’s melt has just a bit of texture to it, just a bit of grain that helps keep your mouth engaged.
At 73% it might be a little sugary for some but hits my sweet spot just fine. The flavor has a nicely grained bitterness to it. Cocoa is right up front but it’s cut with dark taffy and a bit of coffee. Like some coffees too there is a light saltiness or metallic side to it as well.
At this point I’m noting that, as great as it was, it’s also not particularly unique. The entire experience up to this point is very familiar. Now novelty alone means nothing without touching the familiar but this seemed more like a memory than a new experience. The obvious nuances took well trod paths resulting in a bit of déjà vu.
However what I did keep coming back for was the aftertaste. A sharp bitter floral that brought to mind orange blossom, lavender and cilantro. It stays with you for minutes, just clinging to your tongue. Going back for more I found more of that element in the body of the flavor once I knew where to look but I wish it introduced itself with a firmer handshake.
If you’re a fan of other American companies like Ritual you’ll find this a really good fit.
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.