• Our rating: 86.4% (2 reviews)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 70%
  • Guide Price: £12.40
  • Description by: Alex Rast
  • Production: Unknown
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter

Criollo/Trinitario variety found in three isolated farms in Northern Nicaragua, in three distinct growing areas at 300 to 800 meters altitude. Possible grandfathers of Venezuelan Criollo/Trinitario. Full body, fruity, tobacco, green tea notes, complex.

Friis Holm – ChunoóChocolate Review Rating: 86.4% out of 100 based on 2 reviews.

Friis Holm – Chuno

Representing perhaps the ultimate in exclusivity, this is a series of only 250 bars total made (if the Chocolate and Love site from where one can get this chocolate is accurate) from an equally esoteric Danish company few will probably have heard of. This is the new wave, in many ways: small, committed producers making in micro-batch quantities, and thus able to use tiny supplies of top-quality beans from unusual sources. Certainly this is an unusual source: a series of isolated plantations in Nicaragua, supported by the Xoco company. Bars like this offer us the opportunity to see really what the potential of specific cocoa might be, even if the opportunity to try each one might only come once. Such interest doesn’t come cheap, though: at ¬£12.40 per bar this has got to be among the most expensive chocolate in the world. How much are chocolate obsessives willing to pay for unique chocolate? Such bars may help to establish that figure – at least the reasonable top end.

Reviews

Alex Rast: 19-Oct-2010

Posted: October 19, 2010 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
INFO
Best before:
Batch num:
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Supplied by:

A remarkable bar for its extreme exclusivity, but also an important bar for establishing that textural perfection is possible while retaining interesting flavour. Certainly this one has all the hallmarks of a fine chocolate, with a good strong flavour that stands out, even if it in itself is perhaps a little less than perfect. But strangely, in spite of the significance of the unusual origin, it’s the significance of that texture that may ultimately be its lasting contribution.

The hefty bar goes very slightly against current trend in being delivered in the “old” 100 g format that for long was the standard, making for a bar one can either take in multiple sittings or share as desired. Whatever, the finish, out of the wrapper, is truly exceptional, with literally no sign of mould imperfection whatsoever, not even visible swirling, and a lovely medium brown colour with a hint of red.

Aroma is very pleasant, if rather mild, with a cherry fruitiness dominating. Tobacco notes add variety, and hints of woody and cocoa drift in and out, with the slightest suggestion of vinegar in the finish. As soon as you taste the bar, however, it’s the texture that seizes the attention – but more of that in a minute. What about the flavour? It’s very good, and well-defined, starting with a nice basic chocolatey with hints of blackberry, before moving towards woody, cedar with tobacco, and the same cocoa note that appears in the aroma. There can be little doubt as to its power, either: it stands out boldly and uncompromisingly, with a certain clear bitterness, not aggressive, but enough to remind you that this is real chocolate.

But it’s that melt that you can’t ignore: it’s simply perfect. Just like Hachez. And most noticeably unlike Hachez, Friis Holm here conclusively proves that it’s possible to achieve this level of textural perfection without compromising on flavour. One suspected this might be the case, but now, we know for sure. The taste may be fine as it is, but married to a texture this sublime, it elevates the chocolate to a level approaching bliss. Strange, really: here is a bar that clearly wishes to establish itself on the merits of the origin cocoa it nobly displays. But ultimately, it’s the texture that may be its enduring legacy. Let this not be interpreted as a hint to downgrade that finish, to better emphasize the qualities of the origin! Far from it! Let it rather be put forward as an example to all, so that for the first time we can start enjoying new and exciting origins like this, without being distracted by jarring melt qualities.

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