The “more than fair” angel of Bouga Cacao’s efforts in the heart of Ecuador are more than commendable and although I didn’t fall in love with the last bar of theirs, I still had the desire to try a pysalis chocolate bar for the first time.
For those that don’t know, Physalis is a small orange fruit which can be found in the subtropics and also goes by the name Cape gooseberry. The unfortunate aspect here is that this bar is now five months past its best, but checking with Geert, I was informed that it was perfectly safe to eat. Even then I was tentative and a couple of weeks ago I took the photos and munched on some of it. Then I found it far too dark and moody. At the time I was running round like a headless chicken doing more work than I can cope with. But now, with some Crowded House playing and the vast reams of reports and strategies written and emailed, I can relax and enjoy this bar with an uncluttered mind.
Just as with the previous 77% bar, it uses Ecuadorian cacao grown on ‘more than fair’ estates and then crafted into slabs in the northern edge of the French Pyrenees, and it’s very much a rustic, laid back approach to chocolate making. The La Rustica bars are obviously not going to be the high-polished, sophisticated chocolate of the likes of Pralus, Amano and the like. Instead they’re made purely for the flavour and don’t pretend to be anything other than chocolate to be enjoyed “as is”.
At the back of my mind I had doubts about the Physalis, and on reflection I think it’s because when dried they remind me of figs which I’ve never much enjoyed. But when consumed in this form they give such an amazing burst of acidic flavour that your cheeks would go numb whilst the tip of your tongue would go into spasms with the sheer directness of the sweet, vibrant flavour.
I had anticipated the chocolate itself to be dry, bitter and granular. Instead I found it very much welcoming. Despite the 77% nature of this bar, it had a pleasant sweetness to it which be witnessed under your tongue. There may not be a whole heap of variable and contrasting flavours in the chocolate, but in itself I found it enjoyable. The balance of those flavours along with the little pieces of physalis that are stuck to the chocolate as you think you’ve got it all does add to the experience.
Overall, this chocolate is far nicer than I thought it’d be, despite being several months past its “best” and as a quick review I’d give it a 75%.