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Cluizel Tamarina
February 9, 2005
11:06 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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Just tasted my first squares of the Tamarina. This has to be a forastero bean chocolate – it has some of the typical, dark, slightly smoky-bitter forastero taste. But it is less bitter than other forasteros. The flavour is fairly simple, but there is just “more taste” than in cheaper forasteros, ans the pure vanilla rounds it of very well.

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

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
February 9, 2005
4:24 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, it’s not very exciting, but I think the beans for this bar are actually Trinitario, despite the Forastero predominance on Sao Tome. There is a nice cedar twang in this chocolate that I thought was rather pleasant. But yeah, somewhat bland, compared to the other bars. It’s still a very good chocolate, though.

February 10, 2005
1:36 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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I mentioned something about Belgian chocolate to my three fellow Belgian PhD students…and then offered them some of the Tamarina, which is French. They were almost insulted…[8D]

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My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
February 10, 2005
8:49 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Well, offer them Cluizel’s Amer 72% next time and see what they think. Or try offering them Valrhona’s Gran Couva. Their opnions might be swayed [;)]

February 11, 2005
9:15 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano

Or try offering them Valrhona’s Gran Couva. Their opnions might be swayed [;)]


Fat chance…they didn’t reject Tamarina because of the taste, because they never tasted it…

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

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
February 12, 2005
12:29 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Wow! Talk about close-minded. They outright refused to even try it simply because it’s French?

February 14, 2005
8:03 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano

Wow! Talk about close-minded. They outright refused to even try it simply because it’s French?


Well – they did it with a smile! [:)] – after I sort of insulted “Belgian Chocolate” wholesale. So may be I got what I deserved…[:o)]

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

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
February 14, 2005
4:46 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Ah, I see. Context is the key here! Well, perhaps a more neutral setting and frame of mind are in order next time [;)]

June 22, 2005
5:44 pm
seneca
USA
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I’ve become quite a fan of the Tamarina. I really enjoy the light sourness in the finish. We tasted it recently side by side with the Pralus Sao Tome and the Chocolatour 2004 Sao Tome…a really enjoyable set with a LOT of flavor variation.

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
June 23, 2005
2:58 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, it’s much more characterized than any other Sao Tome. I bought some more yesterday and will probably will re-visit it today or tomorrow.

August 23, 2007
2:32 am
tammylc
Ann Arbor, USA
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I’m surprised by the neutral to positive comments I’ve read about this chocolate here. I’ve used it in a few chocolate tastings recently, and it’s been almost universally despised. Typical flavor descriptors (from mostly novice tasters) have included things like broccoli and motor oil! I see it described in the tasting notes here as “mild,” but i have people complaining that they can’t get the taste out of their mouths…

So what gives? Has anyone tasted this chocolate recently? Has there been a change in the production? Is it just seasonal/annual variation?

http://www.tammystastings.com

www.tammystastings.com
August 23, 2007
5:40 pm
seneca
USA
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For what it’s worth, I’ve always liked the Tamarina. In my last couple of tastings of it there was a really strong green olive component, which I quite enjoyed.

As far as I know, this chocolate has been replaced by the Vila Gracinda (another Sao Tomé origin), at least in the US. I haven’t seen if anyone has posted notes on that bar, but I find it to have a similar palate, although more subtle–more chocolatey and well-rounded.

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

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
August 24, 2007
2:06 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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The bar has changed dramatically since I first tried it. It’s now fruity, acidic, somewhat green, and highly smoky, which is more or less what Pralus and Neuhaus have delivered in their Sao Tome bars. I think it’s a general trend in the processing standards that accounts for the smoky flavor, perhaps dryers that are powered by gas rather than traditional methods. I think this is a common practice in Indonesia as well, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it done elsewhere.

Personally, though, I like the newer versions. The beans themselves have obviously changed, since previously there was never any of that acidity or fruitiness, or at least to this extreme level. Perhaps such variability is why Cluizel opted for another, possibly consistent plantation.