I have heard chocolate snobs rave about single origin chocolate for months now, but believed it was just a fad until I came across one myself. Yesterday, I tried the Santander Single Origin Columbian Chocolate bars and couldn’t get enough. The chocolate’s flavor is intense, and almost fruity, and leaves such a perfect taste in your mouth you can’t help but want more. I am usually satisfied by one or two bites of dark chocolate (which is part of its charm), but I devoured the Santander 65% dark chocolate and the 70% dark chocolate with coffee bits like they were a brownie and a piece of cake. The Santander bar from Columbia is the first and only single origin chocolate I have ever had, and I am anxious to try more.
Single origin chocolates are made from cacao beans sourced from a single region of the world, allowing you to experience the taste and aroma that results from the unique growing conditions of the area. This can be a great thing, as seen with Columbian beans, or something to avoid, like with many beans from the tumultuous Ivory Coast. In a chocolate tasting class I took with John Scharffenberger he pointed out that many of the beans from the Ivory Coast have a metallic taste as a result of being roasted on tin roofs out of sight of the rebels. Whether this is true or not, it raises a question in my mind about how consistent a single origin chocolate could be. Changes in weather, politics or even farmers could affect the taste of chocolate from the area. Most great chocolates currently get their complexity from a blend of fine beans, which also helps maintain consistency since it is not as easily affected by the change in flavor of one type of bean. Now that I can see how good a single origin chocolate can taste, I only hope that future batches of Santander chocolate taste as good as my first.
Santander Single Origin Columbian Chocolate
Available on Chocosphere.com