A trifecta of chocolate bars
Or, as Jade will undoubtedly refer to them in Dowser 5, ‘the holy trinity of chocolate bars,’ which will be terribly sacrilegious. However, we will probably excuse her because she’s had a really bad day. I know this because I’ve written the bad day part, but not the chocolate bar part.
I teased my Facebook page that I was going to test all of these bars in a single afternoon, but then only managed to taste two. I lost track of the Venezuelan bar through the reconfiguring of my office and just happened upon it in my filing cabinet this afternoon, so I decided to crack it while I wrote about Jade and Warner … and Kett … somewhere high up in the mountains …
Valrhona rarely goes wrong with their delicious creations, and they went all sorts of right with these 64% cacoa limited editions.
I tested the Loma Sotavento from the Dominican Republic first, and funnily enough it was my least favourite of the trio.
Valrhona’s tasting notes declare the Loma to be balanced and chocolatey, with round and light ripe fruits that gently give way to a delicate touch of toasted almond.
I picked up the fruit notes right away … yellow plum, maybe (and yum!) I found the chocolate more sweet than balanced, though with the lovely smoothness that seems to accompany all of Valrhona’s chocolate. And yes, I totally picked up the toasted almond finish as well. It came with a lingering aftertaste of sweet almond, which stuck around a bit too long for my taste.
Side note: Interestingly, this was Michael’s favourite of the three. He said he got caramel from it, right off the top.
Then I tried the Gran Couva from Trinidad.
According to the notes printed on the back of the bar, Valrhona feels that the Gran Couva offers subtle aromas of dried mint and fresh spices.
I picked up the mint even when simply smelling the first square – lovely! Upon tasting, I found the chocolate smooth, creamy, and subtly sweet. Followed by exceedingly subtle hints of mint with a tiny taste of spice at the very back of my throat – almost like an aroma rather than a flavour. Very, very fun! A fresh aftertaste followed, but light and not the least bit mungy.
Last, but certainly not least, I tried the El Pedregal from Venezuela.
Valrhona’s tasting notes: subtle notes of honey and ripe fruit.
I thought the smell of this bar was divine. A rich, deep cocoa scent that filled my nasal cavities (which doesn’t sound very elegant but I enjoyed it nonetheless – ha!). The first square was smooth and very chocolatey. A consistent, well-balanced flavour. I picked up an exceeding subtle hint of honey on my third piece. Not too sweet, and not at all bitter. It finished with a slight lingering aftertaste, but light, not unpleasant. Very, very tasty chocolate!
I declare all three of these bars very enjoyable and worth ‘investing’ in! 😀
FYI – I purchased these bars from Xoxolat in Vancouver last September, but I waited a little too long to try them (the expiration date was 12/31/14). I didn’t notice any issues in this regard, other than the chocolate didn’t snap as cleanly as fine chocolate usually does. Perhaps the taste of each was diminished as well (?) but they tasted just fine to me!