Nadalina

Based in Croatia, this bean-to-bar makers sources from unique origins around the world to make award-winning chocolate including a large organic range. Availability is limited - it is sold in shops around Croatia including at some airports. I bought these bars at Nadalina’s small shop within the Diocletian’s Palace complex in Split. They offer a wide range of plain bars, inclusion bars, and single origin bars including Cuba, Bolivia, Madagascar (Akesson’s estate), Ecuador, Piura Peru, Ivory Coast, and more. Their nib bar won bronze in the Italy and Mediterranean category at the 2018 chocolate awards.

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Wild Bolivia 66%

Aroma: soft aroma. Dried fig cookie,

 

Flavor: good. Raisin, cocoa powder, dried fig, soft mineral notes. Concentrated dried fruit flavors like port wine. A sweet, slightly starchy creaminess, like vanilla pudding or cookies. Malt. Very slight green seed flavor. Definitely reminds me of other Bolivia bars with the mellow, creamy vanilla flavors.

 

Batch info: best by March 1, 2020

 

Recommendation: Recommended.

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Nibs 70%  Organic

Aroma: intense – leather, smoke, dark beer

Flavor: dried red fruit - cherry, brownie, chocolate syrup, whiskey, damp earth/compost, mushroom, woody, dark tea

Batch info: best by July 1, 2020

Recommendation: Recommended. Deep, intense flavors are well balanced.

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Ecuador Organic 69%

Aroma: Intense grape/raisin/port, leather

 

Flavor: some astringency, creamy, starchy – like cornstarch, raisin, molasses, cocoa powder, carob, toasted whole wheat flour

 

Batch info: Best by May 5, 2020

 

Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. This is neither one of their best bars nor one of the best examples of Ecuadorian beans, but it’s not unpleasant.

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Cuba

Aroma: rich, earthy, and smoky, but not burned. The smokiness is not unpleasant, it is soft and evokes fall leaves.

 

Flavor: dark and earthy, but not overly bitter, some roasted almond, brownie, dark chocolate cake, and cocoa powder flavors. A slight tanginess and flavors of juicy berries, grape, port wine, raisin, dried fig flavors emerge underneath the darker earth flavors. Some cookie/shortbread flavors near the end.

 

Batch info: best by March 1, 2020

 

Recommendation: Highly recommended. Flavors are pleasant and well developed. Good complexity makes this an interesting bar.