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September 27, 2007

Chocolate tastes better in winter (Pralus Colombie)

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Written by: Martin Christy

So the temperature is slowly dipping here in the UK, a little disappointingly after such a useless summer, but this does bring a small thrill inside as everything seems to be moving a little faster and there’s a more of a buzz on the streets. Then there’s that ‘nip’ in the air, which tells us that the chocolate season will soon be upon us – chocolate festivals around the world are just a few weeks a way in October, and once that’s out the way we’re right into the build up for Christmas.

For us hardcore addicts, the desire for chocolate never really goes away. (There was a time when I used to give chocolate up for summer, but professional sampling requirements have forced me to desist from this practice – honest!) There is definitely something about cooler weather though that heightens the chocolate senses, both increasing the desire for, and appreciation of good chocolate.

This may well be due to the chocolate having a more stable temper, giving a better, more seductive mouth feel. Lower relative humidity could also play a part, perhaps allowing our sense of smell (which is after all a large part of our sense of taste) to function more effeciently. It could also be down to our increased expectations as the traditional seasonal events associated with chocolate line up along the calendar from December to May. (Although the very early arrival of Easter in 2008 could make the upcoming season just that bit shorter.)

Or maybe it’s because seasonal depression disorders make the lift that chocolate treats give us seem just that bit more intense.

I just noticed all this while nibbling a 50g bar of Pralus Colombie 75%. Once again, Pralus have come up with something really good from what is perhaps not known as the most likely source of fine beans. (Though Colombian based brand Santander are trying – needs a lot of work though.)

With a nice fruity tobacco aroma and pleasant toffee tones, Colombie is a really enjoyable eat – if slightly pasty. Some green tea tannins in the length, but there’s a nice sweetness too, slight hanging banana afterwards.

I’m not too keen on the cold, but I think I’m going to enjoy the chocolate season!


About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.



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