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Single origin, blends and the Porcelana craze
November 2, 2004
9:30 pm
legodude
Norway
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I was reading in the splendid book "The New Taste of Chocolate" by Maricel E. Presilla, and I felt tasting/eating some chocolate with the reading. Had the Porcelanas from Amedei, Domori and Marcolini. I must admit that I am not a huge fan of the porcelana even if is the "pinnacle of criollos". I am more fond of fruity blends like Scharffen Berger or creamy/dairy ocumare 61/67 from Domori.

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
November 3, 2004
10:30 am
alex_h
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i hope to get that book soon. had a look at it yesterday and it looks informative to say the least.
i prefer ocumare to porcelana as well. it just so happens that i tried domori's porcelana yesterday and today and liked it more than the last couple of times. suffering from allergies at the moment though, but i could tell it was definitely not as bad as some domori porcelana i've had.

speaking of origin bars: i am now trying cluizel's maralumi. very impressed though i am not usually a cluizel fan. reminds me of a mix between valrhona's ampamakia and amedei's raisin taste with a bit of caramel. nice nice nice.

November 3, 2004
12:25 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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I tasted Marcolinis Porcelana this morning. I like it better and better. It could be a good idea comparing it with Domori and Amedei while reading the book.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
November 3, 2004
2:40 pm
legodude
Norway
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The book is good, and very in dept when it comes to different cacaos and crossings/hybrids. You might want to check out the International Cocoa Organisation pages. http://www.icco.org. there you can find info of different cacaos, prices, projects and the worldwide production.

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
November 3, 2004
3:11 pm
alex_h
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thanks! this is something that interests me very much. for some reason i want to find out more about the genetics of cocoa.

November 3, 2004
6:02 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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That's understandable. You like what you like regardless of a bean's pedigree. My favorite all-time chocolate is still Los Ancones, despite the superior quality of the Porcelana. I still have not tasted Marcolini's Porcelana, and I really need to, but unfortunately Marcolini is unavailable in the US. I guess I'll just have to use Amedei and Domori as a reference point.

Another good book you might want to check out is 100% Chocolate: The Sage of Chocolate, by Katherine Khodorowsky and Dr. Herve Robert. It has tons of great pictures and, of course, contains plenty of information regarding chocolate production and has an especially strong emphasis on its history, tasting, and the many brands. It gives lists and contact information of chocolatiers, etc., and is really a pleasant read.

November 3, 2004
6:06 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Lego, did you happen to taste Domori's Carupano? Since you like dairy, this bar has a strong butter tone. I finally pinpointed that sour flavor of Puertomar too. It's buttermilk, not really yogurt now that I think about it.

November 4, 2004
2:03 pm
legodude
Norway
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Thanks Montegrano, I will see if I can get that book from Amazon or something. I have not tasted the Carupano from Domori. Is that in those small tasting squares? L'artisan du Chocolat in London also has a bar called Carupano, and I tasted it at chocolate week. Not with the best.

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
November 4, 2004
2:54 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Carupano is a 75g bar, part of the 75g line. What did the L'artisan du Chocolat bar taste like? That book, btw, was publihed under the company Todtri, in case you have trouble finding it.

November 15, 2004
1:09 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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quote:


Originally posted by MontegranoI still have not tasted Marcolini's Porcelana,


Only tried it once, but it was certainly a one of a kind choc: Extremely spicy, with a hint of earth and horse-stable - very aromatic, but not exactly my palate. Texture is slightly grittier than other Marcolini bars, but good overall.

The only other Poreclana I have tried is Amedeis, which I find so subtle that it almost lacks character. Reminds med of a milk chocolate without milk and more cocoa. I prefers chocs that kick, regardless of them having "whisky-bottle-style" writings on their wrappings.

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

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
May 2, 2005
9:12 am
alex_h
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had an interesting experience this weekend: for the first time i was truly able to taste the similarities between domori's and amedei's porcelana bars. and now i think i can pin down what porcelana is for me a bit better.
in amedei this flavor i detected is quite intense, in domori very very subtle. it was flowery, light and slightly sweet. couldn't really catch that umami martin wrote about though. i need to go back and compare the two side by side next.

May 2, 2005
11:23 am
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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I find the Amedei a lot tamer than it used to be, much more in control. This is good and now it actually tastes like chocolate, but maybe less interesting. Domori has that 'magic moment' though ...

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
May 2, 2005
1:15 pm
alex_h
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aha, then i will really have to go and try some amedei again.
funny, domori's porcelana really had that "magic moment". i'd never noticed it before. it was almost like an afterthought that surprised me, like when you eat something with a soft center you didn't know was there and that flavor all of a sudden comes out.

May 2, 2005
4:50 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Magic moment? By your definition, I had the same experience with Carenero Superior and Puro. There was a certain flavor I couldn't pinpoint or name until the length was over. It suddenly hit me, as in one of those "AH HA!" moments. It's interesting you found Domori's Porcelana more subtle. I was quite unhappy with my last bar because it tasted like a tart Granny Smith apple, and as you know, this is certainly not a subtle flavor! It just gives me an excuse to get some more, though [:D]

May 2, 2005
6:40 pm
alex_h
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excuses, excuses ;)

May 3, 2005
3:25 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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As a side note, Scharffen Berger released a Porcelana 75% a couple years ago, again in limited quantities, and it sold fairly quickly. I've heard mixed opinions about it, in much the same manner as Marcolini's Porcelana has been subject to varying comments.

May 3, 2005
3:56 pm
alex_h
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there's a review by martin on that bar here.

May 3, 2005
6:30 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
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I know, but I was merely mentioning it because it is one of the very few Porcelana bars to have seen production.

June 2, 2005
10:43 am
alex_h
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let me see if i've got this right: varietals are more difficult to work with and hence more expensive than blends because you can hide an off bean easier in a blend? plus the fact that varietals are generally more expensive because of higher bean quality.

and do i understand this correctly? varietals are not only chocolates made from a certain bean (say porcelana), but can also denote region or plantation.

June 2, 2005
1:09 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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As far as I gathered, chocolate produces, especially if they are big, do mostly blend, even when it single origin on the cover,to get the consistency. That's why a policy of producing rear bean chocolate in editions, in batches, as long as that particular harvest batch lasts, seems to me to be the open and fair approach. And if i think about it, there aren't many bars with name of the bean on the cover, so if they are going to be produced steadily, i wonder how the same taste can be maintained over the different years? Varietas more difficult to produce ( obtain ) in stable quality and quantity every yaer, as far as i understand.

Single origin, blends and the Porcelana craze | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum