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Michel Cluizel's "Mangaro" - and other new bars
February 16, 2004
12:34 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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I thought someone had posted a message about this bar already, so please accept my apologies if I’ve missed it out. Anyway, has anyone tried Michel Cluizel’s “Mangaro” – their new single estate chocolate, this time from Madagascar? Cocoa percentage is 65%. My local shop got it recently in stock, but due to a cold I can’t really evaluate the taste although a friend thought it was promising. I’m not sure how many bars to buy – and it is always interesting to hear the forum member’s opinion. When that said, for some time now I have thought that reviews on this site are somewhat old. It seems like they are not updated very often and thus don’t reflect what’s on the market. Again, sorry if I’m wrong. It is in fact a compliment as I find the existing reviews beneficial.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
February 26, 2004
4:59 pm
elethe
London, United Kingdom
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I got some today (along with some ‘Tamarina’ and ‘Los Ancones’ (which I haven’t opened).

I just tasted the Mangaro, just to respond to this post. It’s got an interesting sour creamy taste and a very smooth texture.

The Tamarina is inoffensive but a bit bland. Slight citrus tones.

April 30, 2004
12:58 am
Gazoline
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Tamarina is very good, but it seems to lack a very special character to it. It is earthy tasting and slightly bland. It is not nearly as complex or interesting as ‘Los Ancones’, but one bar is worth tasting if you like Michel Cluizel chocolate. It would be interesting to hear others thoughts. Next time, I will pick up the Michel Cluizel ‘Mangaro’ for a try!

April 30, 2004
6:08 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Well, not many other bars can compare to Los Ancones; it’s simply one of the best chocolates around. I thought Mangaro and Tamarina were rather tart; not citrus-like but more along the lines of pineapples and strawberries (more so with Mangaro). I still need to taste these two bars further to form a final opinion, though.

May 10, 2004
5:09 pm
alex_h
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i’ve just had another go at mangaro and i imagine tasting banana and mango or something the like. right now the cluizel bars i favor are tamarina and ancones if any.
about a month ago i had a comprehensive taste of cluizel’s origin bars in the form of 5g tasting squares which i liked much more than the bars themselves. in the squares i found so much more flavor than in the 100g bars i am now trying. this has happened to me with amedei’s chuao and tuscanny black 70% (but the other way around here) as well.
does size and thickness of the chocolate effect its taste like temperature does? i mean, lindt has really thin leaves of some of its chocolates… or is that solely for reasons of “elegance?

May 11, 2004
12:56 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Tamarina – which one is that? New one? Color of package, where is it from? I can’t remember I’ve heard of it before.

Anyway, I’ve found out that my preferences are in conflict somehow. Sometimes I like a chocolate even if I can taste it is not superb quality, ie. despite poor length (ie. shortness!) and not too interesting aroma some chocolates simply have nice flavors. I haven’t completely made up my mind yet, but I think this is the case with Mangaro while it is rather opposite with Los Ancones which is longlasting, smooth and gives my mouth a wonderful experience. On the other hand, I don’t fancy the apricot and green olive flavors that much. Anyone feeling similarly? May be it’s just because I’m not a pro.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 11, 2004
11:03 am
alex_h
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from sao tome. blue package. don’t know how new, but i’ve seen it before.

i couldn’t find the olives in ancones…

May 11, 2004
4:12 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Tamarina replaced Ilha Toma (which I’m lucky enough to have one bar of, since it’s not being made anymore), both of which come from the same island. It came out around the same time as Mangaro, I believe, and as alex said, has blue packaging. Among Cluizel’s single origins, its cocoa content is the highest (70%). I haven’t given it a comprehensive taste test yet, but when I tried it, the taste was pretty strong and had a bit of a twang to it. It wasn’t exactly a fruity twang, just a little zip I can’t describe.

I don’t really taste the olives in Los Ancones either; I detect a strong grassy/pistachio flavor, though, that I absolutely adore. Also, the licorice root nuances are incredible, and although it doesn’t taste as strong as other chocolates of similar percentages, the length and finish are long and satisfying.

May 12, 2004
10:49 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by alex_h

from sao tome. blue package. don’t know how new, but i’ve seen it before.

i couldn’t find the olives in ancones…


Neither do I, but GREEN olives with apricot I can trace if I concentrate …

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 12, 2004
10:51 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Thanks for the info. I didn’t check the other bars when I went to the Cluizel shop last time. I simply assumed the blue one was Ilha Toma. Maybe Tamarino had arrived then. Nice to know it’s a 70%. Something to look forward too.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 13, 2004
3:51 pm
alex_h
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what’s the difference between olives and green olives?

and yes 70% is nice. i don’t like to take less myself unless it is valrhona.

May 13, 2004
6:34 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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There are several different types of olives. The difference between green ones and black ones are ripeness, green olives are less ripe than black. Black olives contain more oil, though. I think black olives in general reminds a bit of anchovies but my taste isn’t that trustworthy I think – however, there is a significant difference.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
May 14, 2004
3:59 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Lonely, if you can, get Ilha Toma because it’s much better than Tamarina. In fact, after I started my last bar of it today, I tasted new flavors I never did before; it truly is a unique chocolate. I posted my thoughts of it in another thread on this forum, so I won’t be repetitive. Tamarina is interesting as well, but it’s quite disappointing because after comparing the two, I realize which one is actually better. Also, since the inferior is replacing the superior, I am even more perturbed.

All olives have that sour, mouth-puckering taste, which I don’t particularly care for, but I think I’m developing a taste for them. Actually, I think the grassy/pistachio flavor I detect in Los Ancones could in fact be the olives others taste. I think I simply give the flavor a different and more deisrable description that appeals to my palate.

May 18, 2004
4:21 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Thanks for the tip, Monte. I’ll check if the shop still has got some left ASAP.

As for the olive taste, I wouldn’t think of the description myself, but I do think it fits, or, I find olive oil (which isn’t at all one thing) a more proper label though. Both olive oil and green olives are less sour than black ones in my opinion. I do of course agree it is not the most advantageous label to apply.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
June 4, 2004
11:03 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Montegrano, my Cluizel shop has got plenty of Ilha Toma (so far). They didn’t know it was supposed to be ‘replaced’ at all. If you’re interested in having some sent, send me an e-mail, OK?

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
June 5, 2004
8:38 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Lucky girl [:p]

June 5, 2004
8:41 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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I’m not so sure if I should get any for several reasons:

I’m going to place a pretty big Domori order.
I already have “too much” chocolate right now that I need to eat.
Shipping from Norway to the US is too expensive.

Thanx for the offer and thoughtfulness. Have you tried it yet, and what do you think? I absolutely love it.

June 8, 2004
3:08 pm
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
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Monte, now I’ve “tried” Ilha Toma. It is really good! I remember last time I bought it, I found it a bit uninteresting, a bit ‘flat’ and one-dimensional, especially compared to Los Ancones. Now I’ve changed my mind. Ilha Toma is subtle, but in a balanced way I think. I didn’t really manage to separate the flavors so I kept tasting and tasting and tasting – and after a couple of days the bar was gone! I’ll have to have a new one, although it was addictive. Compared to Los Ancones it is less sweet, which I like (I like sweet but Los Ancones is too much to me), and there are also flavors that seems more balanced, like all notes are only hints – like berries with the whole plant and surrounding wood, including its local spices (probably cinnamon).

As for Dolfin’s Earl Grey, I had some left (since I didn’t really like it) and tried again. It was kind of strange. When I had a tiny bit, approx a small tasting square, I liked it and thought it was well balanced. There was however a flavor I’d like to eliminate if I could. The best description I can think of is “sweet soil” and something artificial – like burnt plastic and asparagus soup powder (don’t know what it’s called – mix with water and bring to boil = soup). (OK, I know I’m not a pro!) This became so much stronger when I took the next bit – and now the taste I disliked so much was there again! It’s like it’s over-aromatic and sweet in a horrible sense – reminds me of an overdose of dates, dried figs, and the tiny note of something to be eliminated in the first square was now dominating. It also taste as if the tea fond came from tea infused for too long. But, one piece was absolutely fine. Actually the ultimate dieting chocolate! ;-)

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
June 8, 2004
3:52 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, that’s what I particularly enjoy about Cluizel’s single origin bars, especially Los Ancones and Ilha Toma. There is no single dominant flavor: rather, there is a plethora of intermingling flavors that co-exist in a chocolaty union that’s extremely fun to pick apart. Each time I tasted Ilha Toma, I discovered new flavors, which prevented banality and monotony. Every time I sat down to eat a piece, I said to myself, “Okay, let’s see what I taste this time….” I think that’s the whole joy and pleasure of eating chocolate; the most fun part, though, is trying all the different bars, then finding the ones you like the most.

A note on the Dolfin front; I think all their bars have that plastic taste to them, sort of. When I had some 88% yesterday, I tasted a plastic nuance in the aftertaste, but that might be a result from the plastic wrapper (what are they thinking with that anyway?). I wonder if they Dutch their chocolate, because it’s so mild; you wouldn’t even know you were eating an 88% bar if you were to taste it blindly. Despite that, I think the flavors are balanced a little better than in other bars.

July 23, 2004
4:52 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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I have to agree with everyone else that Tamarina is a bland chocolate. It’s not exactly complex, and the flavors that are present are rather mellow and mild. There was a slight sweet citrus flavor and even malt and brown sugar towards the end. Although I’m really unimpressed with it, it’s still a good chocolate. Mangaro, imo, is much better and has more depth of flavor. The flavors are more pronounced, with nuances of white grapes, peaches, and gingerbread. It’s more tart as well, and challenges the palate more than Tamarina.