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Caffarel named origin bars?
August 17, 2005
11:26 pm
seneca
USA
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Hi all--

Just heard that Caffarel has a line of named origin bars, and was curious if anyone out there had tried them? I know they're mostly known for their gianduja, etc., but I'm always curious about some new bittersweets...

-seneca.

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 17, 2005
11:38 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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This is news to me as well, but their questionable use of vanillin in the past certainly throws some caution towards the new bars.

August 18, 2005
12:12 am
seneca
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I agree...we just happened to have a rep come by today and they were in the catalog so I though I'd throw it out there. They were very pricy as well--something like $4.50 wholesale. Yipes...

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 18, 2005
4:23 am
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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Did you know Lindt & Spr√ľngli bought Caffarel 1997.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
August 18, 2005
5:09 pm
seneca
USA
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I did not! Thanks Masur...do you know if they still manufacture bean to bar or are they using Lindt couverture now?

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 18, 2005
5:30 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Lindt also owns US giant Ghirardelli. This happened in 1998.

Caffarel still boasts that the beans, "enter the Cafferel warehouse at Luserna San Giovanni," so maybe they do.

Also: "All ingredients are subjected to stringent laboratory tests to make sure that each and every component used by Caffarel fully meets the company's high quality standards."

Why use vanillin, then?

August 18, 2005
6:31 pm
Sebastian
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I know you disagree with this, but vanillin can be very high quality, just as with any other ingredient. Most people quite frankly can't tell the difference between the two, espeically at their usage levels. Vanillin can also be a natural product - it's not always an artificial flavor. More often than not, vanilla's usage is a marketing tool more than anything, as it's inclusion level is far too low to be contributing anything hedonically (vanilla is very expensive).

There are, of course, some exceptions.

August 18, 2005
11:19 pm
seneca
USA
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I remember back when it happened hoping that perhaps Lindt's acquisition of Ghirardelli might improve matters :-)

Without overall comment on the Vanilla/Vanillin issue, it is true that the blended and milk Caffarel bars (at least) do contain vanillin...

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 19, 2005
12:49 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Oh, I understand that vanillin is actually the chemical that produces the flavor we all know and love, and that it is indeed a natural ingredient. But "natural" just denotes that it was derived from nature regardless of what its original state was and what it is destined to become. In this respect it is artificial.

August 19, 2005
12:42 pm
Sebastian
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10

Some vanillin is derived from nature. There are a number of trees that produce it naturally, and flavor houses simply extract it, same as, for example, extracting a natural strawberry flavor from a strawberry. Most vanillin, however, is chemically synthesized. Most people assume that if there's vanillin present, it's an artificial flavor (ie created via reaction chemistry in a tank), which isn't always the case.

August 19, 2005
7:10 pm
seneca
USA
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I suppose this really deserves its own thread, but it seems to me like the issue with Vanillin is precisely that as a fine chocolate consumer you don't really know its origin or the reason for its use. If the chocolatier is cutting corners (costs) on such a small ingredient, you have to wonder where else they're cutting corners...

Or maybe you don't have to wonder :-)

There's a pretty informative site on Vanillin here:
http://www.uyseg.org/greener_i.....Issues.htm

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 19, 2005
10:18 pm
Sebastian
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You'd be surprised how expensive natural vanillin is 8-) In some cases, natural vanillin is more expensive than vanilla, which begs the question, why use it? Good question, don't konw that i've an answer..The site you reference is interesting, but only refers to vanillin sourced from orchids as a natural source (there aer others - in fact most natural vanillin doesn't come from orchids), and omits the ethyl vanillin product, which is the most common synthsized vanillin.

August 19, 2005
10:24 pm
seneca
USA
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Thanks Sebastian--

If you poke around on that site a bit there is some information on ethyl vanillin, but it gets a bit scary sounding :-) There's quite a bit of discussion on synthesizing vanillin from agricultural waste, for instance.

All in all, I'll probably continue to have a healthy suspicion whenever I see the ingredient anywhere near my chocolate. I'll just go back to eating my Plantations 90% bar now...no need even for vanilla when the chocolate is good enough...

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
January 25, 2006
5:20 pm
suimi
United Kingdom
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Hi all,

I've tried the Caffarel "Grands Crus" (Cuba, Ecuador, Ghana) some weeks ago but I've found them quite disappointing: both Cuba and Ghana have an unpleasant flavour of "ashes".

Do you think that could be related with the roasting?

January 26, 2006
8:37 pm
seneca
USA
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Haven't tried these bars myself, but in general ash flavors can certainly be exaggerated by the roast, although they get their start earlier on in the processing. A lighter roast can serve to conceal them a bit more sometimes...

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com

Caffarel named origin bars? | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum