July 15, 2007

Pralus – Tanzanie – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

For a Forastero, the bar dons a striking shade of orange-brown more akin to a Trinitario, which is definitely lighter than one would expect for this bean. The finish looks near flawless, customary for Pralus, while the aroma is good but too subtle to provide the necessary power that would enhance the dark scheme of raisins and cherries. A black touch of molasses is also present, but unlike Chuao or a few Amedei bars, it lacks a piquant charm that would add character. Here, it seems we get a muffled wallop rather an unadulterated smash.

Although the flavor can be easily recognized its presence is severely blurred, like viewing a beautiful sunset through a foggy window. Bleeding pastels of melon, raspberries, and then bananas saturate the profile, while cedar provides a woody undertone, clearly showing the darker nature of the flavor under its otherwise lighter attire. Despite the overall muffled feel of the flavor, the chocolate turns incredibly bitter towards the end, but again, even this exclamation comes off as faded, like a reverberating echo heard from miles away. One gets the impression the chocolate is screaming through a pillow.

And with a texture so precisely creamy and unctuous, one can reason that cocoa butter was added liberally, which in this chocolate’s case was a necessary evil to combat that feral bitterness. But two wrongs don’t make a right. Tanzanie exhibits some inherent flaws that Pralus undoubtedly recognized but mollified to ill effect. The result is a chocolate painted in pastels, one that seems out of line with the usually strong and forthright Forasteros he’s produced in the past. Tanzanie indeed shows Pralus some humility, but by no means does it taint his name. Since Forasteros are not usually this fruity, the flavor shows great promise and perhaps good things to come if the chocolate can be improved.

About the Author

Hans-Peter Rot



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