I've been in Guatemala for about 2 1/2 months now and today I had my first taste of good chocolate. It was quite by accident. I stopped by the University and I spotted a corner bakery where I could enjoy a coffee and make a few phone calls. On my way out I saw wrapped in cellophane with bright yellow ribbons, bars of chocolate. It read "Chocol 'ha: Chocolate Oscuro, 62% Cacao". Mmmmm! I immediately bought it, it was a good deal for 18Q (about $2.50 or so). It was delicious! I really should have bought the another; there were only two.
I wasn't expecting it to be very good so I ate the first bite quickly and then the burst of flavor automatically slowed my chewing. I let it sit in my mouth for a while so I could explore the flavors and texture. It was creamy but a little hard; there was a bit of bloom on the corners of the bar. There was no graininess at all, a very uniform, creamy texture. The flavors were not too complex but they were there. It was more full-bodied that I would expected; I immediately inhaled a coffee flavor and just a hint of tobacco. After a few seconds it started to remind me of the forest -- maybe a mossy flavor? Or was it the scent of fresh, wet dirt? Whatever it was, I really liked it. It was quite an earthy piece of chocolate; not too bold but what I might call 'stately'.
I called the phone number listed on the little label and the woman and I spoke for almost 30 minutes. She told me how her husband quit his job to start making chocolate, and they have a small set-up in what used to be their children's playroom. She was so pleasant and invited me to lunch and to come and see their small operation. She said that they didn't have a website just yet, but they were working on it. It was a good day!