3 Jan 2014: The Forum is currently in read-only made while we update to a new version of the Seventy% website and forum.

The forum will be back with a faster, simplified and up to date website in the next two months.

Please consider registering
guest

Log In

Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
Topic RSS
chacao absolute
May 2, 2006
2:52 pm
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline

i’ve just tried a piece of this chocolate and it does have a strong vodka taste (hence, the name absolut(e)? ;)
is this from fermentation? and is this a flaw?

May 2, 2006
8:01 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline

I am near-positive that this is not a flaw. The vodka taste you get is indeed from the fermentation. Part of Domori’s signature is the flavor you interpret as Vodka (I interpret as Rum) and is the result of their processing technique. Domori processes minimally (this is in line with their philosophy), roasting to a lesser degree to let chocolate retain more of its ‘primitive’ flavor. Indeed, Chacao Absolut carries this to the extreme as it also is organic, and organics tend to be more earthy (more wild?) and somewhat less tamed, which I rather like. Chacao Absolut is probably the best organic bar that I can think of offhand. It is also a very distinct bar and has received high reviews on this site. I have a bar in store and will have to review it myself sometime.

Sean

May 3, 2006
9:30 am
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline

thanks, sean.
why are organic bars less tamed?

May 3, 2006
2:03 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline

Good question, Alex. Tell you the truth, I am not eactly sure — I just know that that is the way it tends to be.

However, I suppose I can take a stab at it. Let’s suppose you have a chocolate without organic labelling. Such a chocolate is liable to all sorts of things I imagine: insecticides, fungacides, fertilizers, and other chemical sprays. Assuming none of these chemicals contribute any flavor, manufacturers using the sprays essentially put cacao crop into a vacuum, without much exposure to the elements of mother nature.

Now, with an organic chocolate, you generally (somehow), get a more earthy product. It seems awfully coincedental that by allowing a chocolate to be more exposed to the elements, you would aquire more taste of mother nature.

I don’t know….lol, nevermind…this is beginning to sound suspiciously of BS. This is probably all nonsense. I have no idea Alex…but SOMEONE knows!!

Sean

May 3, 2006
2:20 pm
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline

;)
i love this bar and agree that it has a rustic taste. but i wonder whether this impression might not stem from what my mind associates when it reads “organic”.
i wouldn’t discount your argument entirely, but i’d say you’re taking it to a level that is probably not verifiable.

May 3, 2006
2:57 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline

I think that you are right on about the bar being rustic. But you know, when I think of other organic bars I have had (such as those by Dagoba and Grenada Chocolate Company bars), I note more wild and untamed flavors. You can also take a look at the review I wrote for Grenada’s darker bar….it was very wild tasting to me..

Sean

May 3, 2006
3:19 pm
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline

oops! i read ‘rustic’ where you said ‘earthy’ and ‘less tamed’.
you know what i mean though? maybe the organic label makes one associate rough, wild and rustic and therefore actually taste it. a trick of the mind perhaps? just a guess on my part.

May 3, 2006
3:51 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline

chocolate is all guesswork…lol. And you know what? chocolate is extremely complex…with there being about 300 aromatic compounds.

It truly is a shame that humans are so limited in their sense of taste, for if we had the capacity to taste or even smell things as wild animals can, we’d experience chocolate in completely new ways. Of course if I were a member of the canine group, I wouldn’t eat chocolate…lol.

I know what you mean though, Alex. However, as far as the ‘trick of the mind’ idea goes, I am inclined to refute in this case. Producing an organic bar puts into the mix so many additional variables that the choc is bound to come out differently in some notable way.

I do, however, think the mind can play tricks when it comes to things like wine and chocolate. This is especially true when it comes to ‘tasting notes’ of another individual or manufacturer. If I, for instance, note that Pralus says this and that about their bar, I might taste this or that after a very long time…lol. This is one reason I try not to look at any reviews until I do my own, the exception being if I am searching for a noun to identify a sensation that I cannot place within a few days time…which rarely happens. This, however, did occur briefly for my review of Pralus’ Java bar. There was just this one WEIRD component in the initial flavour that I could not place. It tasted familiar yet unrecognizable as it was something I wasn’t used to tasting in chocolate. It reminded me of a dampy, forest note. Pralus interpreted it as mushroom, and I was much inclined to agree.

The interesting part comes when one endevours to compare independent reviews, finding commonalities in each.

Sean

May 4, 2006
8:36 am
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline

i get what you’re saying.
what are the additional variables in organic chocolate production you speak of?

May 4, 2006
2:30 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline
10

Well,

They are indeed numerous. But it is important, I think, to look at what organic chocolate doesn’t have in it or undergo. In addition to the many sprays utilized on growing cacao, companies producing chocolate without organic labelling are also liable to chemically treat the beans in the fermentation stage. I also know for a fact that a lot of African cocoa undergoes some type of process, whereby the harvested beans are sprayed with something nasty to keep away fungi. This is partly necessary due to the fact that bulk cocoa producers fill barrels to the brim (a very bad thing), not allowing cocoa to breathe…creating terrible conditions for it.

Organic chocolates are far more susceptible to batch variability. Organic cocoa is at the mercy of mother nature and the elements. If the climate is good in a given year, you’ll probably get a bountiful and good-tasting batch. It can also be risky raising organic cocoa, I suppose. If a fungas attacks your trees, you can be in dire straits, not being allowed to use certain fungacides…

Consistency is a hallmark of a chocolate not farmed organically. Chocolate from a company such as Grenada will be different every year…in some way. I am sure that there are far more knowledgeable people than myself. I have not travelled to any of these farms, so I haven’t seen firsthand. I can only rely on my taste, apart from knowing basic things explained above.

Sean

May 4, 2006
5:45 pm
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline
11

ok, i see. thanks!
btw, do you know why chacao is not certified organic in the states?

May 4, 2006
6:58 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 178
Member Since:
February 14, 2006
Offline
12

No, I am not exactly sure as to why that might be.

However, it probably has something to do with bureaucratic inefficiency.

May 5, 2006
10:03 am
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline
13

or different definitions of organic perhaps…

June 4, 2006
3:41 pm
green
Trondheim, Norway
Member
Forum Posts: 103
Member Since:
November 19, 2004
Offline
14

A little off-topic here, but I thought most of the chocolates of high quality would classify as organic, and that they are not labeled such to maintain a “high-class status”. I’ve been given the impression (by this forum, myself, who knows…) that the quality chocolate producing companies make sure the cocoa the buy have been grown without artificial chemicals and sprays. The vintage bars, or single estate bars vary with the conditions and make different outcomes from year to year, don’t they?
(Is there any truth to this at all, or am I completely off the line?)

June 6, 2006
7:41 am
oz_choc
Kandos, Australia
Member
Forum Posts: 98
Member Since:
January 10, 2006
Offline
15

Green – I can well understand why you’ve developed the impression that most “high quality” chocolate would classify as organic. Plenty of people who should know better quite happily peddle this myth. To quote one example:

“chances are if you are eating an expensive bar (or box) of chocolate, those precious cacao beans were not sprayed with pesticides”.

I wrote to the editors of the website that published that particular claim, pointing out (in some detail) that it wasn’t true. I received an apology, which stated that: “it appears that we published the wrong draft of the article”. They removed the sentence in question from their website. But presumably, if I hadn’t complained, the “wrong draft” of the article would have remained on that site, thereby perpetuating the myth.

Another ripper I’ve read is John Scharffenberger stating that: “Pesticides don’t really work with cacao beans” (see: http://www.scharffenberger.com…..NEart2.asp). The claim that pesticides “don’t work” with cacao is utterly preposterous … but people seem to lap it up, I suppose because they don’t like to imagine ingesting toxic chemicals like Lindane with their chocolate.

Why am I so confident that most chocolate is NOT organic? Well, this is one of those arguments that I’ve been involved in often enough that I’ve dedicated a page to the subject on my website. Anyone who’s interested can read my reasoning at http://www.tava.com.au/article…..icals.html

Sam

June 6, 2006
3:01 pm
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
Member
Forum Posts: 81
Member Since:
December 12, 2005
Offline
16

I must add however that I recently had the information directly from a famous Italian chocolate maker that they have been in the process of stopping the use of pesticides. In some of the plantations it is already a fact, and they have an in-house protocol to achieve it everywhere. However they will not advertise and claim on this anywhere. It would contradict to the market status of their products, and would not generate more demand. I know which of their chocolate is organic (I will only tell it if they let me) and there is definitely no special thing I could recognise in the taste also compared to other non-organic chocolates from the same manufacturer. Of course it would be stupidity to generalize on this basis to every premium chocolate maker and assume they are all organic. It is sometimes ridiculous how these brands try to create their legends, just take the example of Bonnat, who claims that only one place can sell their chocolates in one city. In the very downtown of Vienna, I know three shops where you can get Bonnat. The same applies to Paris. But back to the organic “taste” dilemma, I do not think organic bars would possess anything special that appears as “rough” or “untamed” or “earthy” in the taste. At least nothing special that is inherent in the fruit. Maybe a different nuance of processing. Better still, we hopefully all know how the mind will have its effects on tasting and the consciousness of tastes. As the limbic system in our brains is both involved in processing memories, emotional and olfactory stimuli, the preconceptions can have really strong impact. Tremenduous unparallellities can be experienced-sometimes that’s what you call, Sam, the emperor’s new clothes. I would suggest having a blind tasting of organic and non-organic chocolates from the same quality level…Anyone tried yet?
Domenico

August 3, 2006
6:23 pm
seneca
USA
Member
Forum Posts: 208
Member Since:
May 22, 2005
Offline
17

Keep in mind that there are variations from country to country in terms of what qualifies as organic. For instance, in the US you’ll have to be able to certify that adjoining properties are also herbicide/pesticide free, which isn’t always that easy to achieve. Imagine that the farmer next door to you uses Roundup on his roads and you can’t convince him to stop–in some instances this could prevent organic certification pretty much permanently even if your farm is pesticide free itself. (The long way of saying that certification processes often have substantial and complex flaws, whether for good or ill…)

Back to the Chacao Absolute–I had a bar of this recently that was absolutely horrible…tasted like urine-soaked hay. I’m going to give it a go with another batch, but has anyone else tasted anything similar?

For my part, I can’t really imagine that organic process would make any substantial difference in flavor outcome, but I think a blind tasting is a fine idea!

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 4, 2006
9:57 am
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline
18

urine-soaked hay?! whew! i’ve tasted some weird and bad stuff in domori at times, but thank heavens nothing like this!

August 4, 2006
12:35 pm
Domenico
Budapest, Hungary
Member
Forum Posts: 81
Member Since:
December 12, 2005
Offline
19

I am glad that I had no experience with urine-soaked hay in my mouth (although times I had the possibility to try it), but I’ll keep this descriptor in my vocabulary :) Phenomenal!
I recently re-tried (against all my preconceptions) the Chacao Absolute and it was again near inedible. Maybe my taste does not fit to this chocolate.

August 7, 2006
8:34 am
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline
20

i have a bar here and it tastes just fine to me although my girlfriend said to her it tasted of grandma’s closet ,)