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Recent Ghanian Experiences
July 8, 2007
7:45 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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February 14, 2006
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Hello Everyone!

Due to the hot summer months, I have been somewhat limited as to what chocolate I have access to. During the summer months, I normally relegate myself to eating a couple Santander and Plantation brand bars each day.

However, I was surprised to see that my local delicatessen began carrying a Ghana bar from Pralus and a 70% bar from Divine chocolate (with a new packaging).

Though my experiences with Ghanian cocoa have been far from good in the past, these two bars quite surprised me.

The Pralus bar is, in my opinion, one of his best. This is not due to complexity, but rather to simplicity. There is simply this marvelous pure cocoa flavour that--again in my opinion--exceeds his Brazil, Cuba, and Tanzania bars--all of which are Foresteros. Maybe I got my hands on a nice batch?

The Divine 70% bar has improved greatly. Though the basic cocoa flavour is somewhat inferior to the Pralus bar, Divine's bar compensates with a nice nuttiness.

Definitely starting to like Foresteros here:))

July 8, 2007
8:04 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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March 17, 2005
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I do find Pralus result with forasteros a really pleasant surprise. Although with recent butches, in paper packaging, all of the origins seems to improve - in terms of less overpowering roast, imho.

The treatment of all forasteros is impressive, quite exemplary; but I'd probably prefer Tanzanie, despite it feeling more woody and strong - just because Ghana came across like a bit too much on cocoa butter for me. Recent Sao Tome has also a lovely fruity note.

July 10, 2007
6:50 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by Eshra

Hello Everyone!
...
However, I was surprised to see that my local delicatessen began carrying a Ghana bar from Pralus and a 70% bar from Divine chocolate (with a new packaging).

The Pralus bar is, in my opinion, one of his best. This is not due to complexity, but rather to simplicity. There is simply this marvelous pure cocoa flavour that--again in my opinion--exceeds his Brazil, Cuba, and Tanzania bars--all of which are Foresteros. Maybe I got my hands on a nice batch?


I suggest that you probably like very earthy flavours in your chocolate, more than any batch variability. My experiences with the Ghana have been as you can see from the review less than positive - but earthy flavours are perhaps my least-favoured quadrant. With more recent batches I decided to give it a try again but found the same result. By contrast the other Forasteros he has tend to have other components than the earthy totality of the Ghana - a lot of brown sugar and a few fruits, which you might find ever-so-slightly off-putting, whereas I am fond especially of brown sugar traces.

Are there any chocolates that also stand out in your memory as ones you've liked, or ones you've decidedly disliked?

The best Ghana I've had has definitely been Theo's, but you might not like it as much because it has more of the fruitiness that I mentioned. One bean you should try is Ocumare 61. Both Domori and Neuhaus(!) make excellent interpretations. The Ocumare 61 seems to be the "classic" earthy chocolate in many respects.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
July 10, 2007
9:49 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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Let's see....earthiness.

I suppose the first chocolate that jumps out at me on this subject is El Rey's Gran Saman. This chocolate, in my opinion, is the quintessence of earthiness out of all the chocolates I have sampled. I have never tasted Theo's---though I have had their Ivory Coast.

Anyway, the Ghanian bar from Pralus seems more feminine than El Rey's Gran Saman. I am wondering if my batch might be different...I don't know. There's just this pure cocoa flavour that I really like about the Ghana from Pralus.

I have tried Domori's Puertomar. I don't recal there being any earthy quality to this bar--more of a rich and creamy caramel nutty note.

July 12, 2007
11:56 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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October 13, 2009
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quote:


Originally posted by Eshra

Let's see....earthiness.

I suppose the first chocolate that jumps out at me on this subject is El Rey's Gran Saman. This chocolate, in my opinion, is the quintessence of earthiness out of all the chocolates I have sampled.


Hmmm - a very different take on what earthy means. My experiences of Gran Saman lean more towards a dark sugary/treacley with hints of fruits, certainly not earthy in the way I think of it at least. GS does have a *texture* which by association might be earthy in the sense of being rustic, a bit coarse, and definitely somewhat dry, but the flavour isn't earthy, especially not with that power punch that it delivers. Earthy flavours, I find, tend to recede into the background a bit - probably why Forasteros (which often have the flavour that I at least call earthy) are used quite often in blends.

quote:


Anyway, the Ghanian bar from Pralus seems more feminine than El Rey's Gran Saman.


Undoubtedly. El Rey is very assertive and powerful, very masculine in characteristics (the lack-of-power aspect of most earthy chocolates might be said to be feminine, although the overall flavour I tend to see as masculine in the sense of being "blacks" and "browns" in flavour rather than "pinks" and "yellows".

quote:


I have tried Domori's Puertomar. I don't recal there being any earthy quality to this bar--more of a rich and creamy caramel nutty note.


Nutty flavours are close to earthy in my way of looking at it, sort of treading a middle ground between spicy and earthy. Caramel I don't really recall. Puertomar itself is somewhat less earthy, paradoxically, than most of the Ocumare 61's, and in this I find an interesting pattern: quite often the very best chocolates of a varietal are rather different from the archetype. Now, when they are the embodiment of the archetype (e.g. Domori Ecuador) one gets something truly awe-inspiring but as often as not the great chocolates are distinctive as much for their unusual interpretations of an origin or bean.

What was your opinion of Puertomar overall? Meanwhile, as I say, any other chocolates that stand out as like or hate (they don't have to be earthy or distinctly non-earthy by any means)

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
July 13, 2007
4:59 am
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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February 14, 2006
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Earthy to me generally encompasses all of the things I might find on a hike through a wet forest: damp leaves, woodsy scents, soil, and other vegetative impressions of the environment around me. The Gran Saman bar reminds me of these things.

Puertomar is one of my favourite Domori bars, though I prefer their Porcelana over it.

July 16, 2007
11:21 pm
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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February 14, 2006
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Just tried Ghiradelli's 72% bar. Flavour profile seems to place it among other Ghanian chocolates.... Anyone know where this Ghiradelli sources from?

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