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Is the best bar coming from single bean origin ?
March 29, 2007
6:03 pm
Juan Francisco Mollinedo
Guatemala City, Guatemala
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February 16, 2007
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I was wondering if you, the more experienced, can accept this theory:

The best flavor chocolate bars come from single bean origin nibs. Or not?

Any comments?

Thanks

Juan Francisco

Mayan Kakaw is Guatemala's contribution to the gourmet world of chocolate

Juan Francisco Mollinedo Cacaos de Mesoamérica, S.A. ITZEL CHOCOLATE Guatemala   “Mayan Kakaw is Guatemala’s contribution to the gourmet world of chocolate”
March 29, 2007
8:00 pm
seneca
USA
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May 22, 2005
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I would tend to disagree. In my opinion, there are extremely fine chocolates being made both in the blended and single-origin styles, and both methodologies remain relevant and valid.

As a lover of chocolate, I tend to enjoy single/named origin chocolates more and more for their inherent uniqueness, but you can't understimate the power (or complexity) of fine blending, and the consistency of experience that it offers...

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com

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March 29, 2007
8:05 pm
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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July 5, 2006
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I would agree with Seneca. I really love single origins but also love some blended chocolates as well. Both have their own unique qualities which make them good. And if a blended bar or a single origin bar start with good beans then you can end up with two fine flavored bars(depending on processing as well)...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
March 29, 2007
11:40 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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February 14, 2006
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I have always believed that the best cocoa beans required no blending if their inherent characteristics were good enough to allow them to stand alone.

Case in point: good Madagascan chocolate. I do not want my Guittard Ambanja or Domori Madagascar blended with anything. These are such good bars that it would be a disservice to the unique qualities of the aforementioned chocolates to overshadow or crowd out their distinctiveness with cocoa from other parts of the world.

I don't disagree with the act of blending. What I feel, however, is that the best beans from the best plantations (Chuao, Hacienda San Jose, Hacienda Los Ancones, etc) should stand alone.

Cocoa has over 300 naturally occurring chemical compounds. I think it is complex enough, lol!! [:D]

March 30, 2007
12:59 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by jfguatemala

I was wondering if you, the more experienced, can accept this theory:

The best flavor chocolate bars come from single bean origin nibs. Or not?


Well, the interesting thing IME is that although *in principle* the best chocolate bars could come from blended chocolates or origin chocolates, *in practice* the best tend to come from single-origin chocolates. Once you reach the ranks of the truly elite, Amedei Chuao, Cluizel Los Ancones and Domori Porcelana simply are marginally better than their blended counterparts. And I'd have to say that Cluizel 72%, Amedei 9, and Domori Blend No. 1 are probably the 3 greatest blended chocolates, so that seems to settle the matter in practice.

I think it's a matter of market position. A greater proportion of the connoisseur market is more interested in origin chocolate, because it reveals more about individual bean characteristics and many chocoscenti want to experiment and discover as much as enjoy. Meanwhile for the high-end chocolate consumer without that sort of more thorough experience, origin chocolates carry more cachet and exclusivity, so they, likewise, are drawn to them. The net result is that chocolatiers tend to lavish more attention on their origin bars than on their blends. The blends, then, take on the position of "everyday" bars - where an effort is made to keep them to a high standard but it isn't obsessive.

However, it's more accurate overall to say that the 2 types represent a very different kind of eating experience. Origin bars have very characteristic flavours, while blends are supposed to approximate a more neutral chocolatey flavour. It would be virtually impossible, for instance, to find a varietal to duplicate the pure chocolatiness of Cluizel 72%, and if one did it would sort of defeat the purpose of having a single origin. Also, that slight edge in ultimate quality that origin bars seem to enjoy in practice is both very slight and applies only at the very very top of the range. Below the ranks of the beyond-greats, blends and origins happen with about equal frequency in the selections of great chocolate.

And of course "best" is a completely subjective term, so any sort of judgement on this point will be completely individual. I very much doubt there would be any real consensus on this point.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
March 30, 2007
2:52 am
seneca
USA
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May 22, 2005
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I couldn't agree more with the last paragraph of Alex's post. Different audiences (everyday consumers, serious chocolate connoisseurs, pastry chefs, etc.) have very different expectations and requirements, and (of course) palates.

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