chocolate world tour: São Thomé
70% cocoa, intense cocoa flavor with an exciting bitterness
Ideal pairing: dry roasted almonds
As we unwrapped the São Thomé bar, a nutty baking chocolate smell wafted past the foil. The first taste revealed a deep molasses flavor, and floral (jasmine in particular) and earthy components. A hint of rubber snuck in, but not in any unpleasant way - more of a memory of summer bike rides than an actual, tangible flavor.
The texture of the chocolate was a good match for roasted almonds - thicker, so it coated the nuts as I chewed. The chocolate was a little bitter at first, but the almond balanced this. It reminded us of hot chocolate at Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio - rich dark chocolate bits melted into steaming carabao milk - if you drank it sitting next to a cozy campfire, everything taking on a hint of woodsmoke.
Since coming back from the Philippines, I get sporadic craving for a cup of Rizal's hot chocolate. It's nice to get some satisfaction without a $2,000 plane ticket.