May 28, 2005

Valrhona – Palmira 2004 – review – Anne Bramley

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Written by: annebramley

Valrhona’s Palmira shows off its delicious Venezualan criollo composition in a lighter color and the occasional bubble often found in this rarer chocolate variety. But it is the slightly sandy texture that truly reveals this as a signature criollo.

At first the aroma seems quite straightforward: a warm cup of milky cocoa. But you wonder if this is just the power of suggestion, that you expect a more milk chocolate scent and taste in a criollo bar. Indeed, this is a much more playful bar. Looking more closely, rather than having to actively detect a series of complex tastes under that overarching milk chocolate scent, each bite revealed a new taste growing from tobacco to Port to a strong climax of toasted almonds. Absent, however, are any citrus or plant notes. Until the bite is all but gone and you’re left with a lingering apple essence.

Though perhaps this bar didn’t live up to all the expectations placed on it as Valrhona sought a replacement to its Chuao, it is another to certainly be placed in the category of bars to interest those who are perhaps wary of high cocoa butter bars and need the gentler tones of criollo to persuade them to come over to the dark side.

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