AMMA Theobroma Grandiflorum Cupuaçu
Knowing where to start when you've got a bar of Theobroma Grandiflorum Cupuaçu is a difficult situation. Do you comment on the fact that with the troubles which communities have growing Theobroma Cacao could its genetic cousin Grandiflorum provide a new revenue stream for those hard-up growers? Do you talk about how Cupuaçu is naturally much creamier than chocolate given its greater fat content? Do we talk about how AMMA traditionally offers a low and slow roast, how they have a relatively long fermentation and how this all combines into very flavoursome, beautiful chocolate? Should we talk about how Diego Badaró is a fifth generation of his family to be involved in the production of cocoa or that his business partner in this venture, Frederick Schilling have a great deal of experience in making chocolate having been the central figure of Dagoba?
I could even mention that AMMA is based in Monte Alegra
in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil and that those letters, when combined with the name of the forest in Portuguese (Mata Atlantica) form the acronym. The fact that Brazil used to be the primary exporter of cocoa and that now the team at AMMA are prime-placed to put Brazil firmly back on the quality side of cocoa production - they can leave the volume-aspect to Ivory Coast and Ghana. It could also be mentioned that Diego, Frederick and their team are working hard to improve the root stock following the horrendous affects the country felt from diseases such as Witches’ Broom. It's even possible that we could marvel at the expanse of their land and how semi-wild their cocoa and Grandiflorum are and how they use those to cultivate finer quality cacao from their Amelonado stock. We could even marvel at the amount of work that collectively has been put in over the years to bring their wonderful chocolate to these shores. I could even talk about how much of a risk, or not, this Cupuaçu is.
But given all those reasons to love AMMA, what of this chocolate-looking product I have before me? I loved
the truffles that Demarquette
produced from the couverture, but there's no hiding in bar form. Given the aroma I do approach it with some trepidation. The scent is very unusual, curious and, given that I've whiffed a couple of thousand bars of chocolate (at least) over my time my brain has range that it sees as compelling - and to be fair, this isn't in it. Of course I'm not in a "I'm a Celebrity, Get Met Out of Here" situation faced by crocodile testicles and koala anus, but ...
The flavour is actually a great deal more pleasant than the aroma. It's like a fairly solid chocolate mousse (checking my spelling given the fauna comment above). It's as light as you could expect. It's full of air like a Wispa, but a great deal more enjoyable. Even at the 80% grandilfoum level it tastes like a 40% milk chocolate. We know the fat content is much higher and that there's only 20% sugar, so you could even say it'll give you as much satisfaction as cheap, mass-market chocolate does (if you like that kind of thing - but in a form that should really be a lot better for you. But this Cupuaçu is so much more than that. To use the word 'paradigm' may be over-reaching things. But perhaps not. This can be seen as the first step towards a whole new branch (excuse the pun) of 'chocolate'. I'd just love to see what else AMMA and other 'chocolate' makers could do with Theobroma Grandiflorum.
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