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A good forasteros
August 31, 2004
2:12 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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Yes, it can happen! A 75% dark Ivory Coast bar from Sv. Michelsen, which i bought in Copenhagen two weeks ago, turned out to be a rich, dark choco taste. The characteristic smell and bitterness of forasteros is present, but only in the background, and creates a good balance.

http://www.svmichelsen.dk/

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My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 2, 2004
12:35 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Anyone tried Pralus’ forastero?
I wonder if it’s the Ghana one unless they’ve got more than the one forastero I’ve seen. I have always wanted to try African chocolate (how eurocentric it ever is to label anything African without further specifications …), but I guess the fact that it was all Forastero kept me from buying it. Found it at Fortnum&Mason.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
September 2, 2004
7:57 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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Madagaskar, with its fruity choc, is in Africa, too[;)]

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My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 2, 2004
3:34 pm
legodude
Norway
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I could not find the Ivory Coast forastero in the SvMichelsen pages.

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
September 3, 2004
12:35 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by Polarbear

Madagaskar, with its fruity choc, is in Africa, too[;)]

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My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…


Sure, but not on the continent – which is huge.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
September 6, 2004
9:08 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by legodude

I could not find the Ivory Coast forastero in the SvMichelsen pages.


Yup, their website is bad. I have seen a few different single country/theme/estate bars from them in shops in Copenhagen the last years, but they seem to just pop up and be gone again. And since I am in Copenhagen only once a year, I don’t keep that much track of them.

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My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
September 6, 2004
1:55 pm
chocolatero
london
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September 5, 2004
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Just to add to the general confusion

1) Forastero is only a generic name, there are families within that can have different profiles. Also as cocoa trees hybridise very quickly, forastero can hybridise between the sub famillies or with other cocoa trees planted around
Reading University in the UK is doing research on forastero taste profiles and productivity

2) let;s not forget that the soil, the fermentation, drying and conching will have a big impact on the flavour too. So it is not impossible at all to have a good forastero

At the end of the day, you can only really trust your palate as it takes 1 familly in 1 plantation in the world to create something good

Choco regards
Chocolatero

November 2, 2004
10:43 am
alex_h
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i like chocovic’s forastero.

November 2, 2004
4:23 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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It’s a nice effort, but it’s a little bland and flat. Plantations Chocolate has some nice Arriba bars, having cocoa contents of 65%, 70%, 90%, and 100%. The only difference among each type is the cocoa content, and it’s interesting to see the differences as one moves up the scale. They’re all a little “rustic,” however, but it adds to the appeal. I happened to like Pralus Ghana a lot. It’s so non-complex, though, but it has a good basic chocolate flavor.

November 2, 2004
9:05 pm
legodude
Norway
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The chocovic’s forastero is Arriba from Equador, which is considered a flavor bean. I think it is ok, but still a forastero with all that implies.

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
November 3, 2004
10:23 am
alex_h
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for a forastero i quite like it. sure, it isn’t complex or subtle, but i didn’t find it flat or bland either.

November 3, 2004
6:11 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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That’s why Criollos and Trinitarios are often referred to as “flavor beans,” and why Foresteros are regarded as “bulk beans.” Foresteros simply don’t deliver enough varying flavor but do deliver solid chocolate flavor, whereas the former two offer wonderful flavors but essentially “weaker” chocolatiness.

November 3, 2004
10:55 pm
alex_h
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how about domori’s esmeraldas? that’s nacional isn’t it? which, as far as i know, is considered forastero and flavor bean.

November 12, 2004
10:50 am
alex_h
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just tried some esmeraldas. i can compare it to the other flavor forastero i know (chocovic). not a bad thing, but a long way off from a good trinitario or criollo.
anyone else tried esmeraldas? what do you say?

November 12, 2004
3:43 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Although it’s perhaps my least favorite Domori cru, I enjoyed Esmeraldas quite a bit, actually. I think you’re tasting these Foresteros with some sort of bias and perception based around the association of Foresteros not being a good flavor bean. When handled properly, it can yield good results and flavors. Granted, it’s not exactly my favorite chocolate either, but I certainly appreciate the differences and flavors it does provide. I thought Esmeraldas had flavors of peaches and slight dark butter, while being underscored by a nuttiness similar to hazelnuts and cashews. Vanilla was present too, of course, and even some kind of sweeter brown fruitiness was hiding in the background.

February 12, 2005
4:02 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Just ordered Slitti’s new Tropicale bar. It’s 90% from Ecuador, and I believe it’s Arriba. I heard it was outstanding. It will make an interesting comparison to the Plantations 90% bar I have. The anticipation is killing me [:D]

June 8, 2005
12:02 am
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Monte, how did u like Tropicale finally? Is it Arriba? Actually i likes Esmeraldos initially as well, it’s kind of hits you strait forward with amazing jasmin parfume, and quite dark woody ( for Domori, anyways) notes under all that nice stuff.
And very curious of Plantations, what’d u say?
PS it’s in reference to the other thread about american organic/FT chocolates.

June 8, 2005
12:37 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Tropicale is probably the best Arriba/Nacional I have ever tried…and I’ve tried a lot. I’ve been on a quest for the best Nacional over the past several months, and I have concluded that Tropicale is perhaps the arhcetype of this bean. Second place is Bonnat Equateur. I also ramble on a bit about this matter in the Gran Couva 2004 thread:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..PIC_ID=358

Basically, Tropicale is the perfect balance among texture, flavor, intensity, and bitterness for reasons I explained in the aforementioned thread. It’s so powerful and delivers an intense chocolate punch. It’s simply amazing.

Esmeraldas is a good chocolate, no doubt, but I have only tried the version with added lecithin and vanilla. This, imo, was a little subdued and weak in flavor, so I imagine if newer batches are made without lecithin and vanilla, the overall flavor would be more intense and interesting.

June 8, 2005
12:40 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Plantations is good, but it needs some tweaking. The texture was a little dry in the beginning, and there was a burnt ashiness as well. After that subsided, the rest of the length was very pleasant. However, these are only initial impressions, so I need to taste further. More on that later once I finalize opinions.

June 9, 2005
5:08 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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This is in response to PaulMC’s inquiry for good Forasteros:

If you consider Nacional as Forastero, then try Guittard’s Chucuri and Pralus Colombia. Also, as I’ve previously mentioned, Slitti’s Tropicale is outstanding. And give Bonnat’s Equateur a spin.

I enjoyed Pralus Ghana quite a bit, but I’m afraid my initial impressions are the only “reliable” source for a final opinion. I tasted the entire bar in two immediate successions and was not able to re-taste it later.

There are others, but these are the most worthwhile. Besides, you don’t need a Forastero overload.