Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fresco 214: Pick Your Roast, Pick Your Conche

Despite my disappointment with Moonstruck’s bars – I mean, come on, you screwed up Venezuelan chocolate, that is unacceptable – let’s not brush off all the Pacific Northwest chocolatiers. Some could be quite good. Some really care for their beans. Some, such as Fresco, out of Lynden, WA, care so much about the treatment of their beans that they specify the roasting and conching behind each bar they make on the package?

Neat concept, isn’t it? I first came upon Fresco’s creations at a sample day at Biagio, and was immediately interested in how different roasting and conching profiles affected chocolate. I started out with the 214 bar, which is made from Madagascan beans with a light roast and a medium conche.

The aroma is strong, with clear notes of red fruits and floral.

A citrus flavor is immediately apparent, with lemon being the most prominent, with coffee emerging later and both flavors giving way to cranberry with hints of cherry. The taste is a bit sour, but some added sugar makes this palatable. A slow, buttery melt makes this intense, complex flavor linger, and I very much enjoyed this bar.

Now I must find other Fresco bars to compare the different roasting and conching profiles. It’s all in the name of research.

Have you had a chocolate bar that specified roast or conche types before? Who made it?


  1. Hmm. P'raps not for me! I'm not a fan of sourness in my chocolate...

  2. Ooh but I like sour! I like buttery! I like complexity too.

    This looks like a clever marketing gimmick to me - but yep, I'm interested.

  3. At that sample day, Biagio had one bar of the next batch, 215. It was Madagascar 74% with a medium roast and medium conche. I liked it a lot better than 214, which I found to be too acidic for my tastes.

    My favorite Fresco so far, though, is 213. It's Domincan Republic 72%, dark roast, no conche. It's fantastic--bright and fruity, good melt and gives a cooling sensation.