Qantu is based in Montréal, where they make chocolate from direct-trade beans from Peru. They offer a range of regional single origin bars as well as inculsions - maple sugar and fleur de sel, spices, and Ethiopian coffee. Qantu bars have won gold multiple times at the Academy of Chocolate awards.
Peru Piura - Gran Blanco 70%
Aroma: Coca-cola, root beer, herbal spices, black cherry soda, chili sauce, chili powder, sweet barbecue sauce, dried fig
Flavor: Distinct fig and tamarind up front. Pleasant lingering acidity with a slight astringency - like tart cherry, cranberry, passionfruit, starfruit. More of a tropical yellow fruit sourness than a red fruit tanginess, but there is a little red fruit that shifts to a more red grapefruit note with some mild bitterness. Also coffee/soft coffee bitterness and a little woody/tannin. There are also unique herbal and spicy notes, enough to have some back-of-the-throat bite – like spicy salad greens, cola, chili sauce.
Recommendation: Recommended. This is the kind of great chocolate that has so many distinct and pleasantly unusual flavors you can have a full conversation about it.
Batch info: Best before: September 15, 2020, Lot No. 000222
Peru Ayacucho - Chuncho 100%
Aroma: spiced wood, leather, dried mushrooms (faint)
Flavor: A deep roasted note like darkly toasted almonds or dark toast. A distinct bitterness, but not excessive or harsh. Some nuttiness, a rich lactic savory note that reminds me of a good parmigiano reggiano, with its slight fruity, nutty, and brothy richness with a hint of saltiness. Faint spice notes - anise, clove, cinnamon. Very little astringency or acidity, also very little inherent sweetness.
Recommendation: Recommended. This is a well done 100% with good complexity and a nice balance of bitterness and smoothness. It’s definitely on the more intense side however, so I would recommend it mostly if you like bitter and darker flavors - though again, there's plenty of complexity here! If you want something mellower, go with the 100% bars from Pralus, Goodnow, or Akesson's (criollo) instead.
Batch info: Lot no. 00333, Best by May 12, 2021