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Review: Santander - Colombian Single Origin 70% w/ Cacao Nibs.

Santander gets an immediate plus in my book for being of the few companies (El Rey is another - Venezualen) that is based in the country of origin. It also is fair trade, small farmer, and kosher.

It has an extremely smooth flavor and mouthfeel, and is not at all bitter. It is one of the most flavorful chocolates I have eaten, complex, with strong fruity undertones, criollo without a doubt.. The cacao nibs give it a subtle bitter crunch, which is a nice contrast to the smoothness of the chocolate itself. This is chocolat meant to be eaten slowly, nibbled and savoured.

Even the packaging is elegant - dark red with light yellow lettering and two theobroma cacao beans in the upper right corner. It’s packaged in foil in a box, making it easy to save for later - if you

I eagerly give this bar my highest approval.

This bar, like many, was provided by my boyfriend, who is, as ever, a strong facilitator of my addiction. (At least since he’s moved within easy walking distance of a gormet grocery store with an outstanding selection of chocolate.) You can see why I love him.

(cross-posted from http://herbertanzer.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/santander-colombian-single-origin-70-w-cacao-nibs/ )

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Tags: Santander, review

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Comment by Herbert on May 19, 2008 at 11:49pm
Bah, my packaging is not so interesting. I will have to look for the normal 70%, though the area that I live in now does not have as accessible chocolate, unfortunately. Though even if the beans are the same strain, cacao is a lot like grapes - the soil and climate greatly affect their flavor. I should try to find some Ecuadorian that claim to be of the same strain - that's always an interesting comparison, though specific enough information can be difficult to find...

H.
Comment by Brady on May 19, 2008 at 10:38pm
Herbert- I haven't had the 70% with nibs but have had plenty of the 70% bar. I rarely use price when I compare bars because it varies for different reasons. But when I think of the 70% Santander, I usually think of it as a great value and one of the best per price. It sells for under $2 for an 80g bar. I usually pay $1.69 and walk out feeling like I just stole something. The beans are still a mystery to me. Inside their wrapper they describe it as a cross between a Criollo and Trinitario. I've read somewhere that it is a Nacional bean of the same makeup that is grown in Ecuador. Ecuadorian Nacional beans are also a hybrid of Criollo and Trinitario. I think it is very likely the Ecuadorian Nacional is growing in Colombia too, but have yet been able to confirm this. I also find their packaging interesting as they describe the climate and have a map pointing out the growing region. I'll look for the 70% with nibs, but am sure I will like it.

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