Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Original Beans Piura Porcelana

The Porcelana, considered the Holy Grail of cacao, is a pure Criollo variety, possibly the purest, and is prized for its delicacy. It is amongst the rarest and most expensive of all beans around the world. The Porcelana pods are unique due to their white/light colouring (they lack the flavonoid anthocyanin which contributes to the purple colouring)

In Peru, this "forgotten" cacao was discovered and, after near extinction, was brought back into production by Original Beans who worked with the local farmers. Original Beans' sustainable proposition of "one bar plants one tree" has meant they've planted over 1 million trees in the rainforest. Porcelana cocoa has not been found anywhere else in Peru other than La Quemazón (a village in the Piura Region). The cocoa farmers of La Quemazón are proud of their white cacao and ensure quality control to maintain their cacao in the fine chocolate market

Original Beans Piura Porcelana was of 75% cocoa solids made with direct trade Porcelana beans (from La Quemazón), organic and Fairtrade cocoa butter and organic cane sugar. The chocolate had outsourced its manufacture by chocolate maker Felchlin (Swiss company). My 70g bar had broken up in the packaging and was a little scuffed. It was of the lighter brown spectrum and had a medium snap

I breathed in a perfume of potent vanilla, yellow plum, leather and cream. The flavour opened with a bitter cocoa and sweetened up with a low acidity. There was such an authentic raspberry note, it was really quite unbelievable. The raspberry flavour wasn't always there, and when it wasn't I would [unsuccessfully] try to find it. It did always make itself present in the finish though. The chocolate overall was soft in flavours with a creaminess. There were hints of lightly toasted pecan, and along with the raspberry, a marscapone and cacao flavour it created a dessert-like finish. The texture in the mouth was exceptionally smooth

This delicate Porcelana cacao truly is white gold, and La Quemazón is the goldmine that domesticates it. I did enjoy and appreciate this chocolate and I really did love the authenticity of that raspberry: it was tart, creamy and quite sensational. That trait alone made this Piura Porcelana the James Dean of chocolate. Initially shy, gives an unpredictable yet talented and inspirational performance (the raspberry = "you're tearing me apart")

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