September 19, 2007

Domori – Sambirano 100% – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

With no sugar to dilute the color, the purple bar appears almost as dark as night, while the surface looks typical for Domori: mottled and roughly done, but highly shiny as well, a contrasting theme courtesy of “low impact” processing. At 100%, the aroma seems more controlled and steady than the 70%, delivering a clear and awesome blackened scent of raisins and prunes with distinct highlights of molasses. It speaks with power and greater dignity than the feisty, more chaotic aroma of the 70%, suggesting perhaps that a better flavor is in store.

To a degree, there is, but ultimately the chocolate will knock you flat on your butt. The mouth literally puckers in response to the tartness, unable to ease tension until the length is completely over. On the flip side, however, this tartness adds a sweet dimension to the chocolate, making the stern and blackened flavor very palatable and sweeter than it actually is. Prunes and raisins are always present, unloading in torrents, along with a subtle acridness for a nice kick and added piquancy. Texture is thick and super creamy as expected for this class, and although it adds a refined touch to a rowdy flavor, it gets drowned by the sourness and ends up hardly noticeable in the end.

Domori has become a consummate fool at the craft of producing 100% chocolate, creating these bars solely for novelty and market niche rather than the cacao’s intrinsic qualifications. Based on this context, the sourness of this chocolate isn’t as surprising at it is expected, but its intensity remains overwhelming nonetheless, like a banshee screaming in your ears with a megaphone. Considering Domori’s processing standards (and possibly the nature of the cacao itself), this 100% is, in relative terms, their most balanced adaptation of Sambirano. The pungency and vinegary onslaught of the 70% is lacking here, with the only true offense being extreme sourness. If this is what you crave, though, here’s your bar, but for those that are easily put off by extremes, stay clear. This is a blinding chocolate, the most extreme of its type.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot



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