Just in time for Valentine's Day (should have been Christmas, but Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez might have kept that from happening, more later ... ) Rogue Chocolatier has released a new 70 percent bar.
Colin Gasko, the man behind Rogue, describes the new Rio Caribe bar on his website as "uncharacteristic" of his two other products.
"There are really forward cocoa and coffee flavors, and then deep dairy and nut flavors, hints of dark citrus and spices," he says.
When I tried it, I noticed an immediate tang, followed by a rich, and somewhat surprising, burst of sweetness. It also lingered with a nice, earthy aftertaste.
The cacao comes from from a family-run business in the Paria Peninsula in eastern Venezuela, near Trinidad. Rogue is the first U.S. company to make a single-origin bar from this particular region, Gasko says.
Oh, and the thing about Chavez? While Gasko had hoped to have the Rio Caribe cacao in time to make the bars by Christmas, an ocean freight holdup -- thought to be imposed by Chavez -- ended up delaying its shipment. Gasko ended up flying the cacao to the U.S., at much greater cost.
The Rio Caribe is available at select locations in the Twin Cities.