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Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Fresco: A chocolate brand deserving of a four-part series
'bean to bar' chocolate makers across America, it is becoming more and more difficult to find uniqueness among the masses. But Washington State's Fresco Chocolate is definitely doing things differently. I've had my eye on this chocolate maker for some time, just waiting for a chance to try their unique line of chocolate bars.
Why so unique? Unlike many others, chocolate maker, Rob Anderson, produces several different chocolate bars out of the same origin of cacao (cocoa beans). On his website's main page, you can see how many products you can buy made from each cocoa origin. For instance, you can buy four different chocolate bars made from beans grown in Papua New Guinea, and five bars from the coveted Peruvian Maranon beans.
You might be we wondering: Why so many products from the same beans? Fresco so correctly believes that "Heat, motion, aeration & time produce chocolate's final flavor; this is conching. Adjusting these variables can produce dramatically different flavors." This is true: change any one variable, such as the length of refining, or 'conching' as it is called, and the final chocolate flavour will change. The same applies to the roast level (i.e. dark versus light) or even the year of the cocoa bean harvest.
This week, I am armed with 12 of Fresco's amazing chocolate bars, made from four different origins: Peru (Maranon River Canyon), Madagascar, Peru (San Martin), and Papua New Guinea. But tasting this many chocolates, with varying conche and roast levels, is a colossal task. So I have decided to turn this review into a four-part series, so I can focus individually on the taste of different roasts, different conche times and harvest years, as well as a separate discussion of Fresco's 100% chocolate bars.
So stay tuned tomorrow for the first part in this four-part series exploring Fresco and the different variables of chocolate making!
Part 1: Fresco's 100% Dark Chocolate Bars
Part 2: How conche affects chocolate flavour
Part 3: How roast affects chocolate flavour