Double Review: Peru – French Broad Chocolate – Palo Blanco 66% (****) VS The Chocolate Tree – Salt and Nibs 70% (****)

Guess everyone knows the world championship soccer is played right now in Brazil. National soccer teams battle each other in South-American stadiums. But I like to do things different. I choose one origin and let two chocolate makers battle with their products! Let see who comes out on top!

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Peru is a growing cacao region and is home to some very tasteful beans. Both the American French Broad Chocolate and Scottish The Chocolate Tree, chose this specific origin to create a special bar.

French Broad developed its  66% bar from the harvest of Palo Blanco Community. I’ve already reviewed the Palos Blancos bar of Twenty-four Blackbirds, which delivers lots of mature, earthy flavors. It will be a great pleasure to see if French Broads bar follows this flavor profile.

The Chocolate Tree uses Peruvian Nacional cacao, renowned for its floral characteristics. Their bar also features salt and nibs, so it should be pretty different from French Broads creation. can’t wait to try it!

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French Broad Chocolates – Palo Blanco Community, Chulucanas, Peru – 66%

As always, French Broad Chocolates offers a gorgeous bar wrapped in its distinct French feeling wrapper, with a bright blue ribbon as accent this time. When the people of French Broad visited this Peruvian community, they were especially impressed with the cacao of Juan de La Cruz and only uses his cacao in this chocolate.

Bean: Not mentioned

Origin: Palo Blanco – Chulucanas – Perú

Production: French Broad Chocolates – Ashville, North Carolina, USA

Price: Unknown – 60 g send to me by Cococlectic.com

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Color: Earthy brown/red. A tempting color.
Aroma: A warm spiced scent with a hint of tobacco, vanilla, very chocolaty and sweet.
Taste: Starting sweet as expected, a gentle roast tone comes up before gentle yellow fruit emerge, riding the sweet wave. Grapes, yellow raisins and apricots come to mind. A very enjoyable fruit flavor combined with vanilla and spiced undertone ride the palate with a reappearing hint of tobacco and some wood touches in the back. The texture is ever so slightly grainy, but certainly not offensive. Offering lots of taste, warm and exotic, this is a great piece of chocolate. The aftertaste keeps the more tannin and wood like aromas in the mouth, while keeping a full chocolate taste. Extremely enjoyable, especially later on the day!

 

The Chocolate Tree – Nibs and Salt, Peru – 70%

Delicate green and white flowers decorate the wrapper of this bar. Inside the beautiful design looking like little squares of chocolate combined in one rectangular piece of chocolate. The Chocolate Tree uses the famous Nacional cacao for this creation and mixes is the chocolate with salt crystals and cacao nibs.

Bean: Nacional

Origin: Peru

Production: The Chocolate Tree – Edinburgh, Scotland

Price: Unknown – 40 g given as a sample

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Color: Very alike compared to the French Broad bar, deep brown/red and gorgeous.
Aroma: Deep earthier tones, more masculine with clear wood and tobacco scents.
Taste: This chocolate opens instantly and a lot darker than the French broad bar. It chocolate bring a very nice earthy aroma up front. Tobacco and smoked wood. Salt pops up on the tongue and enlighten the aroma. It actually highlights the full flavor of the powerful chocolate. In between, cacao nibs emerge, causing you to bite down and release additional packed waves of dark earthy aroma’s, coffee, suddenly roasted nuts and a nice floral Jasmin flower hint. The melt is smooth and added nibs make you chew the chocolate, causing a great taste change in the mouth. The aftertaste is lightly smoky and keeps the powerful nib aromas lingering.
Due to the salt and nibs, this bar changes its taste several times. Not with different tones, but different styles of powerful earth tones, nuts, coffee, deep cacao and amidst this all, twinkles of salt and delicate flowers. My favorite bar from the Chocolate Tree so far!

So, two Peruvian bars – two visions. But who’s the winner? Well, I call it a draw! Both chocolate makers provide an extremely flavorful bar, highlighting different  tones and blend them together to balanced and satisfying chocolates. French Broad offers fruits in abundance, The Chocolate Tree offers dark tones and floral aromas. And in between they share a warm, spicy heart and tobacco!

 

Final result: USA – Scotland: 1 – 1!

Bars like these revive my enjoyment in chocolate once more!

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