3 Jan 2014: The Forum is currently in read-only made while we update to a new version of the Seventy% website and forum.

The forum will be back with a faster, simplified and up to date website in the next two months.

Please consider registering
guest

Log In

Lost password?
Advanced Search:

— Forum Scope —



— Match —



— Forum Options —




Wildcard usage:
*  matches any number of characters    %  matches exactly one character

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

The forums are currently locked and only available for read only access
Topic RSS
Question from a newbie
November 22, 2004
3:32 am
chocbloc
laurel, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
November 22, 2004
Offline

Hi,

Before my question I thought I would introduce myself. My name is Mike and I recently became interested in fine chocolates. I have always been partial to dark chocolate, but until recently I had not ventured far beyond Hershey’s Special Dark and the odd foreign one here or there. However, I never paid attention to their names, so I don’t know if I was tasting truly premier ones or not.

Anyway, I stumbled upon this site and I have already learned a lot. I enjoy reading the forum for information about the different companies. The reviews are especially helpful. I have decided to order a few of the brands that seem to get the most ink as it were. I am getting them from Chocosphere soon, so if anyone has anything they would like to single out I would appreciate it.

I have settled on getting one bar of Pralus and Michel Cluizel, a couple of things from Valhrona amd Domori, and a bit more of Amedei. I think that might be a little adventurous for just starting out, but I love chocolate and I think this should help me in finding which types are more to my liking.

I recently picked up a couple Lindt’s (70% and 85%). The 85 is maybe too strong for me, but I know that my taste buds are used to much sweeter chocolate/candy so I am going to see if I can get acclimated to it. I also have some Scharffen Berger, and one Hachez. That was all I could find locally.

I almost forgot that I wanted to ask a question. While reading the reviews from you guys, I noticed a lot of talk about various flavors you tasted. Are these flavors that are added? Maybe in cocoa liquor? If not, I don’t see where these flavors come from. I hope that isn’t a stupid question.

Ok, thanks for the information and hopefully I will continue to learn and find some great chocolate.

Mike (restin’ on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)
November 22, 2004
4:38 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
Member
Forum Posts: 1462
Member Since:
August 1, 2006
Offline

Those are not dumb questions and are quite reasonable concerns; indeed, a major method of learning is through asking questions, so ask all you want.

The flavors you read about are all natural flavors inherent in the chocolate itself. No additives were added at all. Hence, chocolate should only contain the following ingredients: cocoa mass (aka cocoa liquor), cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, and lecithin. Vanilla is used to round out the flavor of the chocolate, and lecithin is used to make it smoother (critical for melting, i.e. couverture), so although they’re not necessary in chocolate, they are certainly admissible ingredients. Avoid anything containing vegetable oils and fats, vanillin, and “flavorings.”

Chocolate has many similarities to wine, coffee, cheese, etc. in that its flavor is dependent upon several factors, such as origin, bean type, roasting, fermentation, blend ratio, etc., so as a result, no two bars will taste exactly alike. Even the same type of bars produced in different years will taste different. For example, Valrhona produces the vintage Grand Cru chocolates Ampamakia, Gran Couva, and Palmira (and they used to produce a Chuao bar but have discontinued it). The 2002 Ampamakia tastes completely different than the 2003 Ampamakia and so forth.

You mentioned that you ordered some Domori from http://www.chocosphere.com, and when you get the order make sure to read the little pamphlet Domori inserts with all their bars. It’s rather informative and lists several flavors one might taste in chocolate. Keep in mind that these are NOT added flavors. Think of it this way: When you taste the chocolate, what do you REALLY taste? What other flavors are lurking behind that chocolate? Is there a spiciness? Tartness? Wood, such as ash, cedar, oak? Just try to focus on what flavors the chocolate reminds you of and what the chocolate tastes like to you. Flavors such as berries, citrus, tobacco, spices, etc. are extremely common and are rather characteristic of a certain bean type and origin.

Which chocolate did you order, btw? Which bars, specifically? This might help because perhaps we can help make recommendations as to which bars to try in a taste test to get a good understanding of flavor differences. Well, this is just a mere scratch on the surface, and I could ramble on incesantly. Keep posting!

November 22, 2004
4:54 am
chocbloc
laurel, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
November 22, 2004
Offline

Thanks for the reply. That’s basically what I thought. I doubted that they actually added all those flavors. As to which bars I plan on ordering, they are:

Amedei Porcelana Bar
Domori Madagascar Bar
Domori Chateau Porcelana Bar
Valrhona 2003 Ampamakia Bar
Pralus Sao Tome Bar

I am also getting some sampler boxes from Valhrona and Amadei. Tks again for the info.

Mike (restin’ on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)
November 22, 2004
6:45 am
Lone Ly
Oslo, Norway
Member
Forum Posts: 397
Member Since:
October 10, 2003
Offline

I guess it won’t be easy to get hold of Valrhona Ampamakia 2003 as it expires this month – unless you can find someone selling out their stock – could be a good bargain in case.

Monte, thought of teaching professionally? ;-)

Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don’t need an appointment.

"Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can." (Unknown)
November 23, 2004
5:32 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
Member
Forum Posts: 1462
Member Since:
August 1, 2006
Offline

Lone, I do need to enter this field somehow, but we’ll see what my future has in store for me [:D] Indeed, it would be my dream job, but what career opportunities are there in this?

Well, choc, you can do a Madagascar taste test with the Domori Madagascar 75g bar (one of my favorite chocolates, btw) and Ampamakia. If you do, try the Ampamakia first, then Domori (always start from sweetest and work your way up to the strongest). I don’t know what’s included in that Valrhona sampler, but if Manjari is there, then add that to the test. Try the two Porcelana bars side-by-side to experience two different takes on the same bean, a very high quality and expensive bean, btw. There are some similarities, but the differences are also quite stark. Pralus Sao Tome is a Forastero, and imo, is the lesser of all Pralus bars. Perhaps you should try that after your Porcelana test just to see what a pure Forastero tastes like compared to a pure high pedigree Criollo. I’m not going to tell you what flavors these bars possess because I don’t want to influence your judgment. Just taste them with a clear head, without any prejudice or expectations from any bar. Simply taste and take notes.

November 23, 2004
5:14 pm
Sebastian
Member
Forum Posts: 430
Member Since:
September 30, 2004
Offline

sebastian, i’ve moved this post to:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..PIC_ID=299

alex_h,
moderator

November 23, 2004
6:58 pm
chocbloc
laurel, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
November 22, 2004
Offline

Lonely,

The guy who took my order at Chocosphere didn’t say anything about the Ampamakia being low in stock, so as of now it shouldn’t be a problem.

Mike (restin’ on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)
November 23, 2004
7:02 pm
chocbloc
laurel, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
November 22, 2004
Offline

Montegrano,

Thanks a lot for those tips. Yeah, I couldn’t find any reveiws on the Pralus bars, so I just guessed. Hopefully, it will be good. I’ll let you know what I think of them.

By the way, the guy who took my order said that they are expecting to get Bonnat in soon. I have heard good things about them so that’s good news.

Mike (restin’ on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)
November 24, 2004
5:51 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
Member
Forum Posts: 1462
Member Since:
August 1, 2006
Offline

Ampamakia might not be low in stock, but what they now have of the 2003 vintage is all they will ever have of that vintage because the new ones are due fairly soon. Too bad they ran out of Gran Couva, though, because that one is incredible. All the Pralus bars are good, but as with most things in life, some things are simply better than others, and you just happened to pick the lesser of them all hehe. However, on the bright side, you can compare a pure Forastero to a pure Criollo.

monte, i’ve moved the last part of this post to:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..PIC_ID=299

alex_h

November 24, 2004
9:25 am
Hayley
Auckland, New Zealand
Member
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
June 4, 2004
Offline
10

chocbloc, if you get the Valrhona sample box that I’ve had, you’ll be able to taste the four grand crus. The Manjari is the best! Very yummy. It also contains the lastest release(2002) in the grand cru range which is the Araguani The box also comes with the tasting notes to guide you and general info on the chocolate etc

November 24, 2004
9:28 am
Hayley
Auckland, New Zealand
Member
Forum Posts: 14
Member Since:
June 4, 2004
Offline
11

Whoops! I mean the four dark grand cru’s. The Jivara milk chocolate is fantastic as far as milk chocolate goes I have not eaten much of the ivoire, not a big white choc fan but it does have it’s place in the pastry department

November 24, 2004
1:22 pm
Sebastian
Member
Forum Posts: 430
Member Since:
September 30, 2004
Offline
12

sebastian, i’ve moved this post to:

http://www.seventypercent.com/…..PIC_ID=299

alex_h

December 1, 2004
11:02 pm
chocbloc
laurel, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
November 22, 2004
Offline
13

Ok, I finally got my order today! I messed up by getting so much, as it is so hard to resist the temptation to go hog wild. I have already sampled more than I should have the first day. Anyway, I am not experienced enough yet to give an informative review, but I will say that I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I did sample the 2003 Ampamakia and the Domori Madagascar as Monte suggested. I loved them both. In fact, I’m pretty sure that of all the chocolate I got, any of them is better than what I have tried previously. It is safe to say that I have bought my last Hershey’s Special Dark.

In my next order, I have to get more Domori since I only got one bar in this order. Thanks to those who have been very helpful in deciding what to try first. I can’t wait to continue discovering this new (for me) world.

Mike (restin’ on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)
December 2, 2004
5:12 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
Member
Forum Posts: 1462
Member Since:
August 1, 2006
Offline
14

One Domori bar? I thought you got a Domori Porcelana as well. Or at least that’s what you said in your list.

December 2, 2004
11:56 am
alex_h
Member
Forum Posts: 1170
Member Since:
April 29, 2004
Offline
15

yeah, it is hard not to completely pig out. i just got a few orders in as well and find it hard to hold back.

December 2, 2004
7:11 pm
chocbloc
laurel, USA
Member
Forum Posts: 29
Member Since:
November 22, 2004
Offline
16

Monte,

Thanks for the heads up. I thought something was missing, but I forgot to check my invoice. I just called them about it and they are going to make it up to me. Cool.

Mike (restin’ on my laurels and my hardys too)

Mike (restin' on my laurels and my hardys too)