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Pralus
November 26, 2004
6:31 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Haha, way to butcher my thread, alex, but YOU asked the question [:p] Cleaning up your own mess I see [;)]

November 26, 2004
10:27 am
alex_h
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[:p]
sorry, monte. i still have much to learn [:D]

btw, last two bars i’ve tried: trinidad and venezuela. liked venezuela much. smooth and tasty. it ranks up there with the ghana bar.
trinidad less so, but nice and waxy. interesting to discover new bars like this as alternatives to my steady diet of domori.

December 1, 2004
5:42 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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Yeah, Trinidad was among my least favorites too, not because it’s a bad chocolate, but because the others simply are that much better. I like the slight butter tone to it, and indeed it bears some similarities to Gran Couva, but of course the latter is much better. Which others have you tried and how do you like them?

December 1, 2004
9:35 am
alex_h
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phew! i’ve tried them all now and my faves have stayed the same, namely ghana and venezuela. the rest are good, some nice and waxy. but i have made no real distinctions yet.

December 2, 2004
5:05 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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So one of your favorites is a Forestero, huh? Yeah, Pralus Ghana made me re-evaluate the whole association of Forastero being a mere bulk bean. If done right, it can be made into an excellent chocolate. What did you think of the Indonesia and Columbia? As you know, those two are my favorites, the real gems of the sampler, even better than the Chuao.

Back to the Ghana bar…
For some reason, I was really blown away by it. Perhaps it’s the sheer and simple flavor of cocoa that it conveys which impressed me. I might need to order a new pyramid to see how the new batches fare. Were you able to try the Java bar? That one is quite an eye opener, and definitely among the boldest of the lot.

December 2, 2004
12:06 pm
alex_h
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yeah, this is the second or third forastero i like. the other two are chocovic’s and domori’s. but them’s nacional, dunno whether the ghana is though.
i had the last bit of the venezuela today and that is a good one too.
the rest you mention i must try again. they didn’t leave an impression the first time around.

December 6, 2004
2:09 pm
alex_h
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i don’t have any colombia left to taste, but some indonesia i think. that’s for tomorrow. today i had jamaica (ok) and vanuatu.
amazed this time around by the vanuatu, like it had a hint of salt.

February 8, 2005
1:58 pm
alex_h
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oh oh, i just noticed that willow’s last question went completely unanswered. sorry about that, willow, hope it’s not the reason you haven’t been posting.
let’s see: advice for the novice? hmmm, monte’s usually pretty good at this, but i’ll give it my best shot.
i would say, go for whatever catches your eye, tickles your fancy and your account can handle :-D
you’ll have to set priorities of some sort, otherwise the selection can be overwhelming. mine are pretty simple. for starters i usually avoid anything that appears to contain artificial or unauthentic ingredients. that means, no vanillin and no vanilla that appears fishy (see the discussion on what really is vanilla). secondly, i usually don’t go below 70%. well, actually that’s pretty much it.

bars you shouldn’t leave out? domori and amedei, valrhona and cluizel. quite a few others as well. scan the forum and you’ll see some names more often than others, try those first. they’re usually more readily available.
hope that helps some.

February 9, 2005
11:41 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Yes, I believe there is a thread regarding this issue. Here’s the link:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..rms=newbie

Oh, and another:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..rms=newbie

Here’s a link to a thread that discusses our favorites, aptly named “Favroite Chocolate”:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..s=question

Hope this is a good start.

March 2, 2005
9:49 am
alex_h
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oooh! pralus = definitively dark roaster! just bought their 80% fortissima and the pyramid again. nice, but a bit dark for me.

March 2, 2005
4:20 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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You’re NOW just realizing this, alex? [;)] I just finished off a Jamaica a couple days ago, and depsite the tartness, it had that characterstic “dark” feel to it. It was interesting nonetheless.

March 9, 2005
1:27 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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Lucky me. Pralus recently got a Swedish distributor.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
March 21, 2005
3:34 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Going through the Pralus Pyramide des Tropiques- revelation what a dark roast can do. Some of the bars are too “well done”, too much wood and burnt coffe, burnt orange skin for me – like Venezuela and Equateur; but some on the way of becoming NBF. Just love Madagascar today – a symphony of subtle tropical fruit to apricote kernel to good coffee to red wine and i’m not all done yet. Very close second Vanuatu – so smoked it’s a surprise – my mind sais “barbeque ribs” when my eyes see reddish square. All of them very different anyway.
Wondering if anyone knows how small companies ,handling all the process, deal with consistency of the end product? Not that it matters too much for me – just love that handmade, home concoction feel to it, as long as ingredients are fresh and good.

March 21, 2005
8:50 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Yeah, each bar certainly has a unique character, i.e. a dark tone that looms over the entire flavor profile. Some beans do not match his roast well, and as a result, the overall flavor might seem “off,” but some people seem to like this regardless. I like how he approached each type of bean the same and processed it in almost like manner. It allows one to really discern what efects a long roast can have on ANY bean. Also, it makes it apparent which beans are better suited to it as well. However, my one qualm was the Chuao bar, which could have undergone a slightly shorter roast, but only because it’s Chuao [:D]

What do you mean by your comment about consistency? Sometimes, quality chocolate (such as Valrhona, Pralus, Domori, etc.) has problems with a consistent flavor across batches for several reasons:

1. Sometimes batch production is small, so bean components will vary tremendously and will produce different flavors.
2. Because of small batch production, different years’ harvests will be used, and that year’s weather will have an effect on bean flavor.
3. Most industrial companies use the same ratio of beans and mainly use Forastero as the main bean component, which as we all know, lend no unique flavor profile to the chocolate but rather offer a solid and consistent flavor regardless of batch.

March 21, 2005
11:10 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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That’s exactly what i mean – consistency can only be expected to a degree, so i say, wud i taste the same in my batch as you, even of the same year?
Chana is absolutely fabulous, even has cardamon finish like criollo for me. So different from Sao Tome forestero, which feels like much more cocoa butter , may be to add for quite a bland bean? And 2 criollos in the Pyramide are so different, side to side ( mouthfull to mouthfull[:)]), Indonesie not very impressive. Must try in the morning, always better. And i’m afraid there is no Chuao anymore.

March 22, 2005
5:12 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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No, you won’t necessarily taste any difference in your pyramid than I would. Usually, these batch differences are on a year-to-year basis, and flavors are usually consistent enough to have an overall and general profile across different batches anyway. Besides, flavor detection is a completely subjective experience regardless of how objective you try to be. For example, what you describe as strawberry, someone else might describe as sweet raspberry. However, a general similarity might exist between two or more people’s descriptions, so if one says “sweet red fruits,” then a more agreeable, albeit somewhat broad, description can be shared by almost everyone. That’s why I usually list descriptors such as “sweet red fruit” followed by “such as a strawberry” in my descriptions; in this manner, I’m not actually prescribing an actual flavor, but I’m conveying the impression I get when I eat it.

I have a question, ellie. Do you eat chocolate followed by certain foods, or do you eat it on a clean palate? This also will effect what flavors you detect.

March 22, 2005
5:23 am
Hans-Peter Rot
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I seemed to have strayed off topic ever so slightly in that last post, so here’s a new one that doesn’t break the rules [;)]

I suspect that the Sao Tome would perhaps have a bit more cocoa butter than usual to compensate for the lack of its inherent fat content. Forasteros tend to have lower fat ratios, so extra cocoa butter is often needed for that extra smoothness. Ghana beans are actually quite good; perhaps the better Forasteros in the world. They provide a solid and clean chocolate flavor without any complexities and a minimal, almost nonexistent, bitterness. Ellie, I recommend you try some Nacional, or Arriba, bars. Nacional cacao grows mainly in Ecuador and is fairly nutty with notes of dairy, coffee, spice, cocoa, and sometimes red fruits. Also, try Sur del Lago chocolate, which has a similar flavor. It’s very “masculine” and robust with similar flavors of Nacional. Domori’s Sur del Lago and Esmeraldas are good to start with.

What did you think of the Pralus Columbia? Guite a gem, isn’t it?

March 22, 2005
2:44 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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I’ve got new love from Pralus – Fortissimo, Fortissimo, Fortissimo. Does something for me.
Thax for Domori advise, must try. In fact, i’ii make my first ordet from the e-shop – been spoiled by real choice before, but did not see Domori anywhere. Tried it long time ago, 4 or so years before, when they just came out and my friens brought it over from Italy as new craze – hugest box with all chocolates and even spread. Was completely blown for a while.

April 11, 2005
4:10 pm
marioh
Bonn, Germany
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I bought the Pralus Pyramide last week in Munich. Until now I tasted five out of the ten and I do not regret having bought it. It was written here before, that it has some similarities to the waxy structure of Domori bars. I just feel the same.
Until now my favourite is the Vanuatu. It is the strangest chocolate I have ever tasted. It’s hard to name the taste, but I would say it reminds me of bacon. I have never realised such a strange taste before. I really love this bar. At the moment Madagascar is number two. But we will see.

April 11, 2005
11:57 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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Vanuatu is the strangest, huh? Well, you must try the Java bar, then. You’ll have to buy it separately, but if you appreciate bacon and the other “strange” flavors of Vanuatu, then certainly the smoke, leather, and mushrooms of Java will appeal to you.