Idilio Origins Porcelana Criollo Puro 74% 87.5/100

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Porcelana or white criollo (different from white nacional) grows south west of Lake Maracaibo in the Venezeulan region of Zulia and is considered to be one of the best varieties of cacao. Porcelana beans grow white rather than the purple and brown hues we traditionally associate with cacao beans due to the absence of the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple colour. This absence of anthocyanin is responsible for the lack of bitterness in fine white criollo chocolate, which makes it highly desirable in terms of flavour, but also delicate to work with in terms of developing the beans. So it’s pretty brave to be using Porcelana to make your first chocolate bar as part of your origins series, something Idilio clearly had no issues with undertaking, having faith in their own abilities and in their chocolate philosophy. Using a 48hour conche Idilio have attempted to develop the porcelana using traditional methods.

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Having tried some bars of Porcelana before, I had some general expectations for this bar. Porcelana tends to be roasted light due to it being quite a delicate bean and generally has a shorter development time, which on top of its lack of anthocyanin makes this a particularly light style of chocolate. The Porcelana I’ve had, also tends to be very smooth in terms of mouthfeel, the smoothest I’ve ever come across, as well as having refinement and balance in bounds. In terms of flavour you can expect luscious soft red fruit flavours alongside some elegant chocolate notes. I had the impression with this Porcelana that their might be a hint of light milkyness, with Idilio being a swiss manufacturer it seems that their palate leans towards milkyness without actually adding any milk of course. This was the most unusual Porcelana I’ve tried, the most different and individual from the rest, very much in the Idilio style. Venezuelan cacao notes mixed up with red fruits and milk, made for complex interchangeable flavours with depth and dimension. More intangibly this bar was enjoyable and moreover, fun.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Light milky brown
Texture: Smooth, almost creamy
Mould: Idilio ridged simple set squares
Snap: Very crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte sheen, consistent

Aroma 8/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Hazelnuts, strawberry milkshake, honey, tobacco
Quality: A little volatile, but pleasant

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Slow, hard melt, dense
Evenness: Even, consistent
Texture: Milky, syrup
Quality: Full, big, rich

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: Pink lemonade, raspberries
Quality: Uplifting, low

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Light coloured caramel, muscovado sugar
Quality: Sweet, dark

Flavour 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet
Notes: Milk, fruity caramel, malt, Christmas cake
Quality: Complex, rich, deep, distinctive

Length 8.5/10

Flavours are kind of short but instantly repetitive, milkyness stays the length

Finish 9/10

Notes: Strawberry milk
Quality: Milk lingers as the other flavours disappear cleanly

Balance 8/10

Bar is a little uneven, holds together under a dense structure, flavours are complex but complementary

Overall 9/10

Bar feels well developed and distinctive, it has a lot of depth to the flavour and great dimension

Idilio’s Tasting Notes: A cascade of intense citrus fruit notes, raspberry, followed by spicy aromas and a long nutty aftertaste.

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