July 4, 2006
Having heard great things about Guanaja I was thouroughly disappointed when I tried it. I'm not entirely sure what it is about it that I don't like. I think it might be a tad on the strong side and a bit bitter for my taste. My order of preference for the Valrhona I've tried would be:
Gran Couva 2005
Is it just me? Perhaps my palette is not yet refined enough to appreciate it fully.
February 14, 2006
Guanaja is a fairly uneventful chocolate, in my opinion. It has some nice flowery nuances and subtle spice, but other then that, is relatively reserved and basic with little uniqueness.
I tend to agree that Ampamakia is a far superior chocolate, offering a bouquet of fine fruity flavours and good acidity.
Gran Couva is even better, offering wonderful butter and shortbread flavours...mmmm delicious, I want some now!
Manjari is, to me, a lesser Ampamakia, the fruity flavour (raspberry) being a little more reserved than Ampamakia's flood of citrus and berry flavours.
Caraibe is also more interesting than Guanaja, offering a nice, round, nutty flavour.
In a word, Guanaja is my least favourite Valrhona offering. Araguani is also better.
April 29, 2004
July 31, 2006
There's been a lot of speculation lately about variable batches of Guanaja and Manjari - some were really out of character and not that good. It's worth trying again Chrissie, and if you still have the bar, post the batch number for comparison.
July 4, 2006
The batch number of the guanaja bar I tried is: L2208
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a bad chocolate, it's just that each time I've tried it I've found it to be lacking in any really distinctive qualities and rather uninteresting.
I've found all three of Michel Cluizels blends similarly unexciting, although I really like his cru range(excluding Tamarina which I'm not wild about).
I'm starting to think that perhaps I'm not keen on anything too blended and enjoy more definite and distinctive flavours, particularly of fruit or nuts, but on the other hand Amedeis' porcelana is one of my ultimate favourites and it's really subtle and delicate.
Perhaps it is something to do with the batch or perhaps it's just my individual tastes.