Saturday, October 15, 2016

Twenty-Four Blackbirds: 75% Cedeno

Three years ago, I stumbled on the Santa Barbara, California company Twenty-Four Blackbirds while trying their Madagascar bar. Now someone has brought me from a little shop in Utah the Cedeno bar. Given how much I enjoyed the Madagascar bar (click here to read that review), I've been excited to try this new one. It has the same natural packaging, just with a slightly different design on the front of the brown paper. It's also in the same tiny 14 gram size, perfect for when you just need chocolate for right now.

I couldn't think of having heard of Cedeno chocolate before, so it made sense to learn that Cedeno is the name of the family who own the farm where the cocoa beans to make this chocolate were grown. The farm is in Santo Domingo in Ecuador, and while I've certainly had chocolate sourced from there, it does seem to be one of the less common sources.

Now, the best by date on here is September 2016, so I should have gotten to it sooner; I was just taking something of a break after all of the chocolate I brought back from Santa Fe. Still, we're not too far past September and the chocolate doesn't yet look or feel old, though it's true that it doesn't look as perfect as that Madagascar bar did.

This chocolate begins with a deep flavor, what I call brownie darkness, the flavor of heavy chocolate cake. It tastes of silver and blue, and it's ever so slightly dustier in texture than what I remember from my last encounter with Twenty-Four Blackbirds. The flavor mainly becomes mellow, almost Christmasy or wintry in some way; perhaps it reminds me of mint or of spices. Both texture and flavor become richer and thicker as the chocolate melts; this point is full-bodied, finishing with a nice warm aftertaste that gives just a hint of spice. The overall effect of this chocolate is a flavor that doesn't change and yet a flavor that does intangibly develop into its own type of taste journey.

From what I wrote last time, I'd say that I do still prefer the Madagascar to the Cedeno. The flavor profile here is simpler. Twenty-Four Blackbirds, on their website, describes it this way: "lightly sweet floral notes upfront, followed by a rich and deep cocoa flavor, that finishes with notes of walnut and almond." Warm and inviting. So it's certainly still a nice little chocolate.

Twenty-Four Blackbirds, especially with this small bar size, satisfies a certain chocolate need. Simple and nicely done.

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