The pinnacle of chocolate production and retail to me is where those that are responsible for each are one-and-the-same. I'd love for small scale cacao growers in the deepest, darkest reaches of the world to have the ability to grow cacao, produce chocolate and have a direct root-to-market. It’s a fanciful idea - but not always. Given the flow of peoples around the world, mostly over the past five hundred years ago cacao has spread from South/Central America to Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, it has also meant that people have connections with more than one country. I, for instance, was born in South Africa but live in the UK. And Eric Read was born in Panama, with heritage from Martinique and Jamaica, educated in the US and owning a cacao farm in Dominican Republic with Crisoire Reid who is actually from island nation and raised in Hato Mayor Del Rey - where the cacao used in this chocolate comes from.
This chocolate shows the true beauty of cacao, in Eric and Crisoire's chocolate may come from the same origin as the Parliament bar we reviewed previously, but it offers a radically different experience. In fact, I tried this chocolate shortly after the previous and the flavour was so mild in comparison that I couldn't pick up much. Having left it for twenty-four hours the experience is much different and I can do it more justice. That said, it is still a mild, cool chocolate that I would imagine would be great for hotter temperatures when, I find at least, that more subtle flavours offer more enjoyment than harsh, intense flavours that you may get from the likes of Mast Brothers, or more flavoursome chocolate from the likes of Potomac, Fruition and others.
At both times this chocolate felt incredibly cool in the mouth, perhaps due to the higher level of cocoa butter? But still, if you do let it rest on the lounge and melt slowly then the natural plum and raisin notes present in the Parliament do come through. Also just on the tip of the tongue there are some pleasant tannin notes too. They may be less 'in your face' than other chocolates I've tried from the origin, but still I really did enjoy it, and proves that there is no one, set standard profile from either an origin or a cocoa level.