Ah Cacao

Ah Cacao is a fascinating little thing. What I have here are three fake cacao beans, made of white, milk, and dark chocolate. The label says that they're entirely made of Criollo beans, and then... a lot more words. Like, they tell you how great it is that there's no vegetable fat or other "unpleasant additives" in it... but there are no ingredients listed. They tell you that if you're craving chocolate, maybe it's cause it's so good for you... and then compare it immediately to wine. Yeah, that's what I want to crave. There's a word for craving wine.

I thought that was my favorite part, but then I re-read the part where they put their own product in airquotes. "Today, we are in the midst of a chocolate renaissance, with more and more chocolate lovers demanding 'real chocolate' such as Ah Cacao's." Oh my god, you did not just write that like your chocolate is fake. Awesome.

I wish they had listed ingredients somewhere on the wrapper instead of several inches of the same old chocolate facts that everyone knows. I would love to know what gives the chocolates that weirdly insubstantial texture. The white one is not bad for white chocolate; it tastes like there's actual cacao butter in it, It's sweet and buttery and smooth, which is all to the good. Sadly, it just makes me crave the real thing.

So I hit the milk chocolate "bean." It had the same texture: almost powdery. The smell was nice, kind of like coffee, but the bean's powdery texture didn't give up its chocolate flavor until the last minute of each bite. I don't know enough to judge for sure, but the texture was so much like the white chocolate bean that I wondered if they had jam-packed these things with cacao butter instead of cacao mass. It had a good chocolate flavor, but not a lot of it.

What was really confusing was the way that the dark bean was powdery too. Unlike the other two, it was downright, violently bitter. They didn't bother to put a percentage on the label, so I don't know what was going on. It's not bad, but it's a little disturbing. I'm used to really dark chocolate in hard, thin, bar form, not big fat powdery shapes.

Now, they're old. These particular ones, I mean. They could have gotten powdery all on their lonesomes. I'd still object to the big leap between the overly creamy-buttery white and milk chocolates and the strong, bitter dark chocolate. From the jarring contrasts to the dense but unhelpful label, the whole thing seems badly thought-out. They just didn't put the effort in to make any part of it really solid. Especially the chocolate.

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