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Gran Couva - vanilla extract
August 24, 2005
5:00 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I was just looking at the ingredients lists for various bars, including several Valrhona Vintages. And among these vintage bars, one thing stuck out as somewhat odd and curious. Only Gran Couva 2004 includes the use of “natural vanilla extract.” No other bar uses vanilla extract, and although I am well aware that extract is perfectly fine and dandy, questions still arise as to why Valrhona opted for its use in only this bar and not others.

I realize that extract can be stored almost indefinitely and can even improve in flavor with age. But, of course, there are many variables that influence the overall product. Like chocolate, extract is produced from a blend of beans, and quality of the extract depends on quality of the beans. Also, alcohol contents can vary and manufcaturers of extracts have different practices that all have a direct effect on the extract. It might be easier to incorporate into molten chocolate, sure, but why only Gran Couva 2004, and not Caraibe or Guanaja? Why not Ampamakia 2004 or Palmira 2004?

August 24, 2005
5:14 pm
Sebastian
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September 30, 2004
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Also not all are alcohol extracts. Prova, for example, uses a water extraction process. And they’re right in Valrhona’s back yard. There are also many vanilla oleoresins available, as well as powdered or plated vanillas. My guess is that it was felt to provide a better rounding of flavor in that particular blend, and they didn’t feel it necessary to add to the other products.

August 25, 2005
5:30 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yes, but it really doesn’t allow for that like-for-like comparison I so love and enjoy [;)]

August 25, 2005
9:54 pm
Sebastian
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Forum Posts: 430
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Write to them and ensure they hear your feedback. They may not do anything even after hearing your feedback (changing packaging can be expensive), but if they never hear your voice, you virtually guarantee they won’t change it 8-)