Pacari Ají / Merkén
Chocolate with a very nicely mellow Cacao Arriba Nacional from Ecuador, and completely made in Ecuador.
This is also a very interesting version of a chocolate bar for its flavoring and the chilli-related cultural-linguistic themes behind it. Hardly the most important theme for its enjoyment, but…
Strange about this version, how the salt included in the spice mix seems to make the sweetness pop rather too much for my taste.
Very interesting that we have merkén, the Chilean (and actually, not nationally Chilean but ethnic-indigenous Mapuche) spice mixture of local chilli, coriander seeds, and salt in this bar.
It figures in two different ways when one gets the German version of the chocolate bar, as the paper wrapper for Germany speaks of Ají in front and only calls it Merkén in the description in back, while the plastic wrapper inside (with mainly English and some Spanish text) labels it only Merkén…
(And I just checked online, and they apparently also have a wrapper which labels it “Chili”.)
Germans, I’m pretty sure, would predominantly have heard of neither ají nor merkén, so both are exotic and require an explanation; merkén has recently become something of a trend in the USA, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some more people there who had heard of it (and still, not exactly many)…
Salt-caused sweet tinge aside, the spicy note is very nice, aromatic and harmonizing with the mellow chocolate/cacao tones.
60% cacao min.