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ampamakia -- 2002 vs. 2003
August 7, 2004
9:37 pm
tifojo
Los Angeles, USA
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This is probably just going to depress me, since all I have is the 2003, but I’m curious to hear people’s comparisons.

Anyone know where I could still get a 2002 to try for myself?

August 8, 2004
11:59 am
tifojo
Los Angeles, USA
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actually, I guess that should go in member reviews if anyone wants to reply.

August 9, 2004
4:29 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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I doubt you can get 2002 anywhere, and even if you did, it might not be that good – depending on storage of course. As far as I remember, most of Valrhona’s bars (if not all producers’) are to be used within a year.

Btw, I’ve never seen anyone being strict with the categories here ;-)

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
August 12, 2004
1:06 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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The 2004 bars will be out October 1, Chuao is out, and a new bar will replace it. Details very soon, when I’m at my desk and have time to post.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 12, 2004
1:25 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Are you saying that Valrhona will no longer make a Chuao bar?

August 12, 2004
1:53 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Yes I am. Their contract has run out I think. I’ll post more details tonight when I get home – I have an email with more details there.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 12, 2004
2:17 pm
Uccella
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Ohi là. Didn’t Amedei lock up the Chuao production a couple of years ago? I’ve been wondering if the price will be going up at some point. It’s one of my favorites but definitely a pricey treat even in the 1kg block.

August 12, 2004
2:58 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Very good question (see many other threads around the forum). I’m guessing they did, but it took a while for Valrhona’s contract to expire. Now where does the Bonnat come from …?

To complicate it further Domori are GROWING something they are calling Chuao, which will be ready for making chocolate with in the next few years.

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 12, 2004
3:37 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Don’t forget, Pralus also has a Chuao bar.

August 12, 2004
3:54 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Ah, I didn’t know that …

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 17, 2004
7:53 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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Seems that there are more Chuao or wannabe-Chuao out there than there are sightings of Elvis…[;)]

If Valrhona had a batch of Chuao-beans left it explains why they have been able to continue chuao production for a while until now, but then all the other Chuaos around become even more spooky..[}:)]

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
August 17, 2004
1:50 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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I have a suggestion on the Chuao-mystery: I guess that Bonnat (and Pralus) simply have decided to call their Venezuelan bars for Chuao. At least on Bonnat’s Chuao it says “Venezuela” in small fonts right under ‘Chuao’. My French is a bit weak, but on their bars there is nothing in the description of the Chuao bars that indicates they are using Chuao beans.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
August 17, 2004
4:22 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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But Bonnat make several ‘Venezuelen’ bars – Puerto Cabella, etc. Also it does taste like Chuao, so I think there must be some connection. Will try to find out …

Martin Christy
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Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
August 17, 2004
8:50 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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To my knowledge Chuao is both a village and a valley. The Chuao Valley is part of Henri Pittier National Park in Venezuela. I’ve heard an experienced chocolatier related to Valrhona in Sweden talking about the Chuao Valley. The Chuao Village and it’s famous cocoa Hacienda is now controlled by Amadei instead of Valrhona.

Masur

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
August 24, 2004
11:04 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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… or as a guy mentioned the other day (Martin, you were there ;-) – where exactly is the Chuao border and who is to define it?

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
August 25, 2004
12:33 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Today I just pre-ordered the 2004 vintages, including the new 64% Palmira bar – that replaces the Chuao, they’re due out October 1 2004.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
October 3, 2004
4:36 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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It’s funny how the topic of this thread has no relation to its content.

October 3, 2004
12:43 pm
chocolatero
london
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From what I have heard on the trade’s grapevine, Amedei is the ONLY company buying the beans from the Chuao village. Bonnat, Pralus, Varho and others may have in the past but are NOT any longer. Many of them continued to use the name and have been challenged legally by Amedei to prove that their beans came from Chuao. Furthermore, Amedei has used the support of Chuao village who wrote a letter to all the other companies saying ” how dare you say this chocolate comes from our village”. So risk of bad PR and direct legal actions have convinced I think all of the other ones to stop.
Legal border is not really defined as in many of these regions, there is no outline of what starts and ends where property wise. I guess it is the local authority in Venezuela who should define it but guess they have more important issues.
One of our suppliers for example wanted to agree that all his bean could come from 1 plantation only but could not as the farmer did not not, nor did the local authority, where his plantations stopped and his neighbours’one started!

It may very well be that the type of beans grown in Chuao and the surrounding region is the same. in fact it is more than likely because of history shared. There may be some differences in taste due to sepcific local climate but there are likely to be minimal.
Most of these producers tended to use Chuao more as a PR as it is presumed to be the “cradle” of chocolate.

As always, solution is to rely on your taste, not the name or PR around it.
Chocolatero

October 4, 2004
3:33 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Monte, I have thought of the same for most of the threads here. But the most important is that we’re all satisfied with the way the forum works. Yet it must be somewhat difficult for non-members or passive members to find what they’re looking for. As more people sign up for membership and participate I guess it might be necessary for the future to be more strict in terms of sticking to the topic.

It’s not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let’s face it, far more reliable than a man.
Miranda Ingram

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
October 5, 2004
1:36 pm
morton peto
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To any who are interested in the subject of this topic my opinion is that Ampamakia 2002 was one of the outstanding chocolate bars I have tasted. Ampamakia 2003 was not at that level.

I am looking forward to the 2004 bars… last year Partridges Gloucester Road was the first shop in London I saw them in.