March 1, 2007

Pralus – Papouasie – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Despite Pralus’ new adoption of heartier packaging, rough shipping has nonetheless afflicted the bar with minor damage in the form of chipping around the edges. Other than that, the bar looks near perfect in temper and mold, with a dark red color that conjures comparisons of wet bricks. Aroma struggles to emerge from its physical constraints. Overall, it’s deep, red, and very soil-like, with a hearty chocolatiness to back it up. Although simple and good on its own, it lacks enough power to make it great.

What very little character existed in the aroma quickly blossoms into a multifaceted flavor. Immediately, cherries come to the fore, bringing with it a subtle but definitely noticeable smokiness that falls to the background, remaining as a ubiquitous accent. Now floral for the most part, then shifting to melon, then abruptly to grape, the flavor is a quirky and unpredictable challenge for those already accustomed to sensible progression. The strength of the chocolate meanwhile is as deep as a Stygian current, adding body and heft to a flavor that is definitely in need of it, lest the chocolate end up too light and frisky.

Meanwhile, the texture is not like Pralus at all. Although thick, it’s not smooth and it’s slightly coarse, summoning some grain here and there, making for a very odd consistency that needs much improvement. The chocolate as a whole, is a curious investigation into an origin not often attempted and perhaps not fully understood. Comparisons to Cluizel’s Maralumi are inevitable, as both chocolates evoke a sense of the abstract through an uncompromising flavor that shows no signs of yielding to conformity regardless of who sits behind the processing helm. An impishly stubborn cacao this is, but will anyone ever break the bucking bronco?

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot


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