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Please, Dandelion makes lousy chocolate. Their Madagascar is OK but the reset of their bars are terrible. Case in point is this Ocumare. Do you know how hard it is to wreck Ocumare? A bitter Ocumare? Leave it up to Dandelion.

Like the Mast Brothers, they have become media dolls.

Ah, how can the flavor and the aroma be "fantastic" but because of the look and the texture you give it a C? That is like saying Timmy aces all his exams, gets every answer right on the test, but because he comes to school disheveled and plays rough during recess that he deserves a C on his report card.

What kind of grading system is this when you penalize secondary aspects to the detriment of the whole bar?

It's a simple grading system where each category carries the same weight. Nothing complicated about it. I believe that all aspects should carry the same value so that chocolate makers can see where they may be issues and strive to make better bars. It can smell good and taste good but it's not enjoyable if the texture is off which is what happened here. Not all hope is lost. I will melt down the rest of it to enjoy this but eating it as a bar is isn't going to happen because it's not good. The snap quality was pathetic party due to the molding. But also it crumbled into a mess. And then it had the presence of bloom. Did you bother to read where I was coming from? It just shows that at least as far as this particular bar goes, they need more tweaking. They need to work on their skills more.

Reviewing chocolate isn't just about taste. It's one of the most important factors but these other categories evaluate where someone's skill level is in making chocolate. The roasting and fermentation does most of the flavor work on the beans so just because it tastes good is still not exactly all the chocolate makers doing. These other factors identify skill level. Of course these are my opinions and totally subjective, but perhaps you should read more about how chocolate is made and why these things matter before you comment.

20n20s wrote "... you should read more about how chocolate is made and why these things matter before you comment."

You have no idea who you are speaking to, so let's just leave it at that. :-)

I read very closely what you wrote in the review. Perhaps your words and your intent are not in mesh. :-)

FYI, before making declarations, maybe you should think about how secondary aspects like the look and texture can very often be outside the control of the chocolate maker because once a bar leaves the manufacturing facility it is prone to all sorts of conditions that affect those aspects.

One thing that can be controlled is release marks which did not seem to bother you as much with the Costa Rica chocolate by Ritual because you say they are working on it. Release marks are a function of more than just the molds. Experienced pros know how to handle them.

Also, your taste description of their Costa Rica does not suggest Amelonado. There might be some Amelonado in there as there is it seems almost everywhere but it is clear that there is more to it than that. I did some homework on this and according to the guys over at C-Spot they lump it under the type called Matina which I gather is a loose definition for many hybrids around Costa Rica. http://www.c-spot.com/chocolate-census/bars/bar/?pid=1602

Now it is time for me to get back to more reading.

I don't care who I am speaking to. Your original gripes about my review made it seem as if you didn't get it. As if you didn't understand the reason for the other categories. If you do get it, if you make chocolate, whoever you are, that's all fine and dandy but understand how your original comments came off. And no one respects "You don't even know who I am" comment. It makes me even less interested in who you are.

Me personally, I am amateur taster just moving along in my own world here trying to learn what I can. I stick to my own world here, because it's not my thing to tell another reviewer, "what kind of shit is that?"

I don't understand what molding marks on the Ritual bar have to do with Dandelion. I didn't detract on Dandelion for molding or matted surface issues. I detracted from them for sugar bloom. Kind of a big deal to see that on a bar or the beginnings of it. Besides, it was a small detail on an otherwise fantastic bar of Ritual chocolate. I wanted to make it a point to say that they know it's an issue and are working on it because we discussed it and it ties into another review I did for one of their bars.

The texture is a huge issue. This didn't come from outside factors. If it did, then they need to be aware of it and do something about who they ship to. But this wasn't outside factors as far as I could tell. The bloom could be outside factors and again they need to know that so they can speak to who they sell their bars to for better conditions. It's all part of the process. Where it gets shipped to and how it's stored may not be their fault, but they need to be aware that their products need help when leaving their shop.

As far as the bean varietal on the Ritual I never made a declaration of the bean just possibility of what it might be. I will adjust it to say Hybrid. There are a lot of hybrids in Costa Rica. I should have called Robbie to clarify it but I left it ambiguous with the Forestaro tag and then said it's possibly an Amelanado. I am still learning about these new hybrid varietals and have in no way shape or form claimed to be an expert on them. I still have a very long way to go. But I do appreciate the information, even though it has nothing to do with the review for Dandelion.

Do you not know who *I* am?!?!

I know *EVERYTHING* there is to know about chocolate, including stuff not invented yet so clearly know more than some guy who won't even leave his last name.

I am clearly so much more important than Kevin and my grammar is impeccable, so you should know that *MY* opinion is the *ONLY* one that matters.

And *I* say that you have the right to your own opinion on your own blog :-D

I'm *SUCH* a know-it-all but only because clearly I do ;-)


Judith, you clearly are today's winner and I love you!

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