Monday, April 14, 2014

Chocolution 15: Rogue Chocolatier, Rio Caribe

Yet another single-source just-cacao-plus-sugar bar. I realize last week I gave the impression that I was getting a little sick of these. Because I was! One of the benefits of tasting a bunch of bars with few extra ingredients is that I began to appreciate how much those other ingredients can add to the flavor and texture of the chocolate.

At least that was the attitude I was developing until I tried this one. This one was good. Really really good. It had an almost perfect chocolate taste, not too bitter or sweet. Unlike the other purist dark chocolate bars, this one was really creamy.

I'm not sure what Rogue is doing, but they are doing it right. At least with the Rio Caribe bar. That one is not on their web site anymore, which is the down side of the small batch single source strategy. By the time I get my hands on a bar and taste it, the batch is probably over and I can't get another one. But I will definitely try another Rogue if I ever get the chance.

Hey and while I'm being all wordy this week, can I bitch about one thing? (Of course I can! This is where I do whatever the fuck I want! Like write self-indulgent reviews of the candy that I eat, all in the service of a New Year's Resolution that only I care about). This is printed on the back of the Rio Caribe bar's wrapper:

As much as I like this chocolate, that "Notes" thing bugs me. I know that's how people talk when they talk about wine. And I understand how that kind of metaphorical speech about tastes developed. We really don't have a good vocabulary to describe the subtle flavors of things like wine. So people resort to comparisons with flavors that others will be familiar with.

The problem is that I don't think it works as well with chocolate. I have had chocolate with actual coffee, oranges, and nuts added to it. In fact, that's pretty common. So when I read that there are "notes of coffee" in this bar and then I taste it, all I think is "that doesn't taste like it has coffee in it." Because these are plausible additives to the chocolate I am pulled out of the metaphor in a way that I am not if someone used those words to describe a wine. It just highlights the limitations of this sort of description rather than its utility. What works for wine does not work as well for chocolate. Which means all we are left with is a sense of snooty. People need to cut it out.