The cult of fine chocolate spreads – now to Hungary. In fairness, it’s perhaps more fair to say that the tradition of fine chocolate from Hungary reaches the West – for this is a country with one of the oldest traditions of fine chocolatework. Rózsavölgyi is obviously serious, with top-notch beans which if we are given to understand correctly come from the same superb Hacienda San José source that regularly supplies Domori. This can’t be anything but a good sign, particularly in the case of Porcelana which again as we know Domori through their definitive product have been in the main responsible for creating the excitement about. The opportunity to compare two interpretations of a magnificent bean from the same source is priceless.


Reviews

Alex Rast: 19-May-2011

Posted: May 19, 2011 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 8 10%
Look/snap: 9 5%
Taste: 8.5 35%
Melt: 9.5 5%
Length: 6.5 15%
Opinion: 8.5 30%
Total/100: 82.25 100%
INFO
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Batch num: 041/300
Source: Sourced by Seventypercent
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Rózsavölgyi comes to challenge Domori with their interpretation of Porcelana, from the same Hacienda San José source that reliably produces the best of these beans. Still, they have a lot to learn. A fine chocolate to be sure, but perhaps suffering from a little overprocessing. While this provides a stark contrast to Domori it must be said that the old champions still emerge as the winner here, but it’s nice to see a truly new chocolate manufacturer emerge in a heretofore unknown country. There can be no denying Rózsavölgyi’s commitment to excellence, so hopefully their commitment to improvement is equally strong and we will soon see some great chocolates coming out of them.

The very light colour of the bar – very milk-chocolate-like – instantly reveals the distinctive Porcelana origin. Rózsavölgyi use a very attractive pattern on the chocolate that must take some difficulties to mould, so it is encouraging to see minimal unevenness, although some swirling on the back is evident. Meanwhile, the aroma seems to try to encompass all the stylistic nuances of other companies attempting interpretations of this bean. An initial scent of raisin and brown sugar suggests Amedei, then milder woody and grassy notes give a nod to Bonnat. Biscuitty and metallic, iron suggestions seem very Coppeneur-like, while a suggestion of lime in the finish is reminiscent of Domori. All this makes it difficult to know what to expect, and it must be said, is a bit of a jumble, even if most of the actual qualities are positive.

The flavour starts well. Initially it has a centre-point chocolatey taste, which then starts moving more nutty/hazelnut, and then produces very interesting notes of leather and tobacco with hints of cherry and woody. Even a suggestion of something spicy, like red pepper, arrives. But then the flavour drops dead. It’s as if cocoa butter overwhelms it: it just disappears. Overall the impression becomes very mild. It doesn’t “sing” like Domori, or rather its song is muffled. The texture, also betrays the probability that too much cocoa butter is the bar’s undoing, being amazingly smooth and creamy with that particular melt that comes with high cocoa butter.

Rózsavölgyi seem to be putting a good effort forward but in their desire for refinement appear to have overworked the bean. Porcelana is not a bean that thrives under extensive processing, and here the chocolate seems to have been conched for too long, with too much fat. These are simple adjustments to make. They’ve got a promising product, and if they can get out of it the complexity the bar hints at initially but with better endurance, they should be on to a winner. Already a promising chocolate: just needs a bit of fine-tuning.



About the Author

Alex Rast
Alex Rast is a long-time chocolate experimenter, taster and part-time consultant to chocolate companies. Starting in 1990 with early experiments himself in making chocolate, he quickly moved into evaluating chocolates in commercial production and assisting other companies in improving process. Over the course of many years he has evaluated over 700 distinct chocolate bars. He is one of the earliest reviewers for SeventyPercent and has helped to define and systematise the ratings system. In addition to bar chocolate, he also experiments with chocolate baking and the formulation of "canonical" recipes for classic chocolate items.