Auro is part of the exciting movement towards in-country chocolate production for international markets. What is especially exciting is how well they do it - Auro recently won several prizes at the 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards. They make their chocolate with beans sourced directly from farmers, and are committed to helping preserve heirloom varieties of the Philippines. They make a range of bars with different cacao contents and inclusions, as well as a Reserve Collection, made with the best beans from single estates.
Paquibato 2017 Reserve – Philippines – 70%
Aroma: buttered toast, smoke, grapes, slightly fermented flowers/fruit, grape hyacinth, leather, licorice, almost a sweet animal smell, like horses and hay, coffee grounds, dark roasted almonds
Flavor: rich mellow chocolate, sweet nut butter – hazelnut or creamy peanut, tahini, vanilla peanut butter cookies, honey, maple syrup, vanilla custard some soft fruity sweetness – sweet cherry, strawberry, pineapple, peach. Very slight hamminess.
Recommendation: Highly recommended. Great complexity with a mix of very pleasant flavors - I like how the sweet, nutty, and fruity notes come together.
Batch info: Production date: April 5, 2019, Code: C01AP-020713, Consume before: August 7, 2020
Philippines Tupi Single Estate 70%
Aroma: intense and expressive – brown fruit,
Flavor: Warm flavors, rich fruitiness, brown sugar, raisins, dried cherry, grapes dates, faint banana, port, balsamic reduction. The slightest hint of wood and mushroom emerges near the end and fades.
Batch info: D0 1AT-010612, Best by January 6, 2022
Philippines Saloy Single Estate 70%
Aroma: spice, soil, wood, raisin
Flavor: Honey, nougat, banana, balsamic reduction, a bit spicier than the Tupi
Batch info: C09AS-093012, Best by September 30, 2021
Theo & Philo
Philo Chua, founder of Theo & Philo, tries to capture the rich flavors and heritage of the Philippines in every one of his beautifully wrapped bars. Using Filipino cacao, he makes a range of plain dark and milk bars and well as inclusion bars with traditional ingredients such as green mango and salt, ginger and mint, and adobo spices.
Aroma: Cornstarch, leather, chocolate pudding, malt, slight grassiness
Flavor: Nice mild but rich, slight cocoa powder/dusty chocolate flavor. Sunflower seeds, raisin, fudge, cookies made with cornstarch, vanilla, chocolate pudding, slight woody tang – cedar, vanilla frosting, malt, sweet peanut butter
Recommendation: Recommended. Mellow and pleasant.
Batch info: Lot no. A19D70BM, Consume before July 21, 2020