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Chocolate Taste Tests:
|The Chocolate Connoisseur
by Chloé Doutre-Roussel.
Obtain a variety of high-quality PLAIN chocolate bars.
The Two Chloés, who have rather different preferences, are:
Batch 1 was purchased in November and December 2006 at local grocery stores:
Batch 2 was introduced on New Year 2007 by the two-person singing group, Seattle Chloé:
Batch 3 was purchased March 1, 2007 at Fog City News, San Francisco. Valrhona Le Noir American 71% (dark bittersweet) and Valrhona 56% (semisweet) were purchased Trader Joe's as the calibration bars.
|Percent||Chocolate Bar identification||C2's Score||C2's Comments||C3's Comments|
|75%.||Theo Ivory Coast||7/10.||Aroma: Woodsy; mushrooms/earth; dark cherry.
Snap: solid clean thunk; uniformly fine-grained, slightly granulated cross-section (but with a pinhole about every half-inch).
Taste: Pretty good: Lacks the full-mouth feel of Valrhona Le Noir American 71%.
|72%.||Fran's 72% Bittersweet||6/10.||Dark: tar; coal. Rich full-mouth feel.||Not reported.|
|72%.||Trader Joe's 72% Pound-Plus||3/10.||Delicious. Rich full-mouth feel. As good as Valrhona Le Noir American 71%.||Not reported.|
|71%.||Valrhona Le Noir American (dark bittersweet)||9/10.||Aroma: Berries; citrus.
Snap: solid and clean.
Taste: Best so far. Full-mouth feel.
Bottom Line = Yuck (that's a technical term).
Smell = good, but it's a single note smell.
Sight = Very shiny surface, which I find unappealing - I associate it with cheap chocolate.
Taste = bitter, harsh, maybe metallic, not well rounded. Slow to melt on tongue; distinct particles until it melts completely; then it's very smooth.
|70%.||Green and Black's Dark 70%||3/10.||Wood, cherry, mushroom. Puckerish. Unenthusiastic for more.||Not reported.|
|70%.||Lindt "Excellence" 70%||7/10.||Smell: Raspberry, cherry, wood.
Taste: opens with a hint of pleasing sweetness that quickly deepens, and then finishes with a central pallet flourish.
|66%.||Amedei Toscano Black||9/10.||Aroma: Honey, honeysuckle; almonds.
Taste: Pretty good, with a pleasant rising finish at rear center of palate and reaching for the cheek dimples -- a chocolate that literally makes me smile. Sweeter and lighter than Valrhona Le Noir American 71%.
Bottom Line = Delightful, I would actually eat this plain (big praise from me).
Taste = Sweeter, more full and rounded taste, and more balanced than Valrhona Le Noir American 71%. Has some "zingy" taste. I don't taste citrus but my mouth reacts as if I'm tasting something sour and it's a great combination with the chocolate. Some late note on back of tongue.
|66%.||Michael Cluizel: Concepcion plantation (Venezuela)||7/10.||Aroma: Honey, honeysuckle; almonds.
Appearance: Love the size of their little squares.
Taste: Honey. Mushroom. Pear. Maple finish. Good but a little too sweet.
Bottom Line = Boring.
Taste = Sweeter and more rounded taste than Valrhona Le Noir American 71%; more full and balanced. Coats entire tongue and palate and lingers more than Amedei. More single note than Amedei Toscano Black.
|66%.||Valrhona: Caraïbe (Gran Cru)||7/10.||Taste: Blueberry. Cherry. Berry.||
Bottom Line = Yuck, not quite as bad as
Valrhona Le Noir American 71%;
but i don't need to eat it.
Taste = Like Valrhona Le Noir American 71%; in most characteristics, except a little sweeter. Splintery bite, single note, bitter, doesn't leave full-mouth taste.
|65%.||Fran's 65% Semisweet||7/10.||Good. Slightly oily.||Not reported.|
|65%.||Hershey's Extra Dark 65%||3/10.||Wood, smoke. Maybe brambles. Unenthusiastic for more.||Not reported.|
|64%.||Michael Cluizel: Maralumi plantation (Papua, New Guinea)||7/10.||
Appearance: Love the size of their little squares.
Taste: Interestingly rich in fruit tastes. Raspberry. Some tastes are black currant, blackberry, gooseberry. Malt and honey finish.
More interesting than Michael Cluizel: Concepcion plantation (Venezuela) 66%.
Bottom Line = Very nice. I would eat this plain. This and the
Amedei are the clear winners for me, and the only ones I would buy
Smell = Some note on top of the simple dark chocolate smell.
Taste = Excellent. Just the right give when I bite into it - not too splintery, not too soft. Tart - like blackberry? or kiwi? Chocolate is bitter enough, but not too bitter, and it marries well with fruit taste.
|61%.||Seeds of Change: La Dominica 61%.||9/10.||Smell: Aroma of oranges.
Taste: Citrus. Rich and lively.
|60%.||Ghiradelli Square 60%||4/10.||Wood, smoke, ash. Maybe dark berry. Unenthusiastic for more.||Not reported.|
|58.5%.||Bucare - Careno Superior (traditionally called the Barlovento)||8/10.||Aroma: sweet chocolate.
Taste: Berry. Cherry. Grapefruit. Honey.
Bottom Line = Malted milk chocolate not to my taste. I wouldn't buy it.
Smell = Pronounced vanilla.
Taste = Sweet, one-note simple, easy to eat (which is boring to me).
Tastes sort of like hot chocolate with milky taste and texture. At the end, malted-milk-ball flavor.
|56%.||Valrhona Le Noir 56% (semisweet).||8/10.||Smell: Mushroom, loam.
Taste: Honey. Pear. Mushroom. Almost as good as Seeds of Change: La Dominica 61%.
A total of 10 points is assigned, with different ranges for each sense:
|Death by Chocolate: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion
by Marcel Desaulniers (Author), Michael Grand (Photographer)
Try Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Or Caramel Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
Or Chocolate Dementia.
Forests and Trees
Copyright © 2006-2016 by J. Zimmerman.