Review: Claudio Corallo – Plantaçao De Terreiro Velho – Sao Tomé E Principe – 75% (***)

Today we wonder across the globe and home in on Africa. I’ve not yet encountered many origin bars coming from this region, producing mostly Forastero beans used in industrial chocolate.

Claudio Corallo however, gathered a vast experience in coffee and decided late on to use this knowledge to produce good quality cacao and turn his harvest into refined chocolate. His plantation is based in Sao Tomé and Principe, an island on the west coast of Gabon in the middle of the African continent. One of the bars he produces is this 75% origin chocolate. Let’s see how it tastes.

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The bar comes in a thick aluminum-like cellophane blister. On top of that, a simple cardboard card noting the manufacturer’s name, the percentage of the chocolate and its origin. There is no further information given and it is unclear which type of cacao bean is used.
Opening the sleeve requires tearing it, offering no possibility to reclose neatly for storing.

I expected a single bar to appear, but instead two small slabs of chocolate emerge. Their design goes on using the same minimalistic approach of the package. there is no imprint, no decoration, nothing. Just two nice rectangular pieces of aromatic chocolate. Obviously mr. Corallo rather have you focussing on the taste of the chocolate than on the appearance.

Bean: Unknown – internet sources claim Forastero

Origin: Sao Tomé et Principe

Production: Claudio Corallo – Sao Tomé et Principe

Price: € 6,30 – 50 g at 1001 Sense – Munich, Germany

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Color: earthy, ebony dark brown

Aroma: a strange and powerful one… somehow it reminds me of the Amma Cupuacu bar – earthy tones, sweetness and roasted nuts are present.

Taste: A sweet start, this bar opens with earthy, woody aromas, while a clear roasted nut aroma is present, mingled with vanilla. In the back a slight coffee-like bitterness. The taste is a bit heavy on the palate and reminds me somehow of a home-made chocolate mousse. Very chocolaty in nature. There isn’t much taste development going on. The aftertaste follows the same pattern and has a nice length. While it misses some refreshing zings and bold taste notes, I can see how this could appeal to a lot of people as it stays close to what people are expecting to find in chocolate. I think the roast is a little on the heavy side, causing a distinct flavor profile. Even though this is a very well made chocolate bar with a great texture and melt, it just doesn’t capture my imagination like other ones do. Somehow I feel that Claudio Corallo has more delicate trick up his sleeve and I won’t hesitate if I get the chance to taste his creations.

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