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Gobino: Monte, are you the victim of hidden bloom?
January 22, 2007
1:38 am
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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Check out our reviews side-by-side on the Gobino Trinidad 80%. I suspect you got a bar that had some issues in transit. The characteristics you describe are archetypal of a bar that's suffered bloom damage. Maybe it wasn't visible, somehow, but everything you describe, as I think you'll admit, points in that direction, especially when you compare it against what I found. I didn't think the bar was a world-beater, but it was very presentable and a decent quality bar. Probably on the same level as, say, Callebaut 7030. You might want to try getting a different lot # on the bar. Did you get it from Chocosphere? Ask them to follow up with their distributor. I suspect a bar that was the victim of foul play...

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 22, 2007
4:24 am
Eshra
Southgate, USA
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Is this the same Trinidad bar that they make in smaller 65 gram tablets?

I tried Guido's smaller Trinidad bar, which was 80% cacao, and it was utterly horrible...

January 22, 2007
2:27 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Don't know, but my experience with Gobino choc last year rings the bell with what Monte had - and i recall that it wasn't a question of bloom, and it was in temper - quite hard, in fact. Just didn't taste of good solid honest cocoa mass and sugar. [:(]

January 22, 2007
5:10 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Interesting what you say, Alex, especially when I now recall our similarly disparate experiences with Dagoba Eclipse and Feodora Grand'Or 75%. And how about all the incidences of "bar swapping" with Bonnat?

Anyway, maybe my bar had suffered as you suggested. I received it directly from Gustiamo (http://www.gustiamo.com) who imports Gobino but apparently might be phasing them out, which is suggested by the decreased amount of product listing on the page.

I think the flavors we both detected are quite similar, in that the redness is a predominant trait, but as you may have noticed there was an absolute lack of roundness and further flavor development during the length. Dry and brittle can't possibly describe the texture accurately, but perhaps the bloom exacerbated the inherent dryness you experienced. I'm certainly willing to accept that perhaps my bar was flawed in some manner, but there's no way of determining this through batch number since none is listed on the package.

Eshra, I don't have the answer for that, but the chances are good that that is the case. It certainly seems plausible, but I don't want to make any certain claims, especially since Alex reported an entirely different experience than we did. Maybe Alex is the only one among us who had a good bar while ours suffered during transit.

January 22, 2007
9:22 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano

Interesting what you say, Alex, especially when I now recall our similarly disparate experiences with Dagoba Eclipse and Feodora Grand'Or 75%. And how about all the incidences of "bar swapping" with Bonnat?
Anyway, maybe my bar had suffered as you suggested.


I mention that because I have seen this happen - bloom that isn't visible. The flavour is unmistakeable when it does, although I don't quite understand the visuals. Does the cocoa butter evaporate?

Another possibility is that the bar was simply old. I can't remember whether Gobino has expiry dates. Did yours have one?

However, there is a third possibility, explained below.

quote:


I think the flavors we both detected are quite similar, in that the redness is a predominant trait, but as you may have noticed there was an absolute lack of roundness and further flavor development during the length....

Eshra, I don't have the answer for that, but the chances are good that that is the case. It certainly seems plausible, but I don't want to make any certain claims, especially since Alex reported an entirely different experience than we did. Maybe Alex is the only one among us who had a good bar while ours suffered during transit.


Now as noted above, a third possibility. As you know I do all my taste-testings in a very specific way. It requires at least 50g at a time and one of the critical aspects of this is that the first bite is as large as I can make it. Literally, as much chocolate as you can get in the mouth simultaneously. The reason for this is that I've discovered that probably more than 50% of a chocolate's flavour characteristics and complexities are contained within that initial taste - and the rest is an exploration of length. Very subtle flavours can emerge because you've got enough chocolate fully to saturate the taste system, and you note things that might otherwise have been missed.

If on the other hand you favour a small initial bite, you won't get that flavour assault, as it were, and subtle flavours tend to disappear entirely or show up only very weakly, swallowed up by the flavours in the middle length. The net result is that with a small-bite tasting format the middle length flavours tend to dominate the observed flavour profile.

This creates difficulties if the middle length flavour is flat - because then your impression will be simply of a bar that's dreadfully flat, with nothing else. As it were, you "missed your chance" in not taking a big initial bite and the early character flavours you would miss unless they're extremely powerful.

Gobino's Trinidad 80% is such a bar. Thus if you follow a tasting practice of small bites, the basic impression would be of a flat, coffee flavour rather than the highly characterised, blackberry/molasses type. Taking more small bites won't help, because the middle-length flavour will absorb each successive impact of the early flavour.

I note overall that it's not uncommon for me to find much more favour with bars that many others dismiss as flat, and on the whole I sense that I find flatness to be a less objectionable flavour defect than many others for whom it is the worst sin (for me by far the worst is bitterness). It's conceivable then that much of this difference is attributable merely to differences in tasting style. Just a hypothesis.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 23, 2007
6:53 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I'm well aware of your tasting guidelines, with full cognizance of your massive mouthfuls of chocolate that each tasting requires. I usually aim for larger pieces as well but nowhere near the size you prefer. However, I tasted this chocolate multiple times with fairly large pieces, larger than any average consumer would consider handling at once. I didn't measure, of course, due to the irregular presentation, but I concluded that the size was of sufficient weight to elicit a full spectrum of flavor.

The problem, however, lied in the fact that the chocolate simply melted too quickly, which therefore did not leave an adequate amount of time to detect the full profile if in fact there was one as you mentioned. But even when larger pieces were tasted, the flavor never came through; it simply was too flat. That's the problem...no matter what sized piece was in question, the same results ensued. From both ends, from the middle, from all over the bar. So I gave up in frustration and submitted my review.

This is part of the reason I first posted a question about this chocolate -- to see if anyone here experienced the same problems I did. A sort of consensus was reached, so I delivered my verdict.

January 23, 2007
10:54 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by Montegrano

I'm well aware of your tasting guidelines...


I wonder if it would be overanalysis to standardise a tasting method? We've all agreed that there need to be some standards for chocolate evaluation and taste assessment - but what about the actual tasting process itself? Should this be similarly standardised? I can see the benefit of doing it, although I do have to say philosopically I'm mildly opposed to the idea under the premise that this makes chocolate tasting a bit too clinical, robbing the experience of any genuine pleasure. It would also tend to deny or suppress individual preferences. But there is some merit to the approach.

quote:


However, I tasted this chocolate multiple times with fairly large pieces, larger than any average consumer would consider handling at once. I didn't measure, of course, due to the irregular presentation, but I concluded that the size was of sufficient weight to elicit a full spectrum of flavor.

The problem, however, lied in the fact that the chocolate simply melted too quickly, which therefore did not leave an adequate amount of time to detect the full profile if in fact there was one as you mentioned.


Interesting! I didn't get a super-fast melt (which by itself suggests high cocoa butter - hence the MIA flavour you experienced). It was pretty standard in that respect.

quote:


A sort of consensus was reached, so I delivered my verdict.


It does seem to be pretty general. My conclusion was that Gobino had been a disappointment relative to the expectations I'd had of it *ab initio*, but not in an absolute sense. It was pretty good next to the majority (at least by sales volume) of chocolates, although somewhat on the tail end of the high-quality range. That seems to be a very anomalous experience. I suppose again we fall back on the hidden-temper-problem/bad batch possibility. Maybe I'll try another one with a different lot number and see what I get this time.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 23, 2007
11:37 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Alex, your large piece technique is very interesting, and I shall be experimenting with this. My only reservation is that as most consumers won't be eating this, it could give a skewed view of chocolates that doesn't relate to general experience.

I'd suggest that should be kept in mind when tasting, so the technique is a useful reference, but should be balanced with how small pieces taste.

It might be good to get another thread going on this, as it is of great interest, and otherwise we might have to moderate ourselves :D

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

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
January 24, 2007
6:18 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Topic split, new topic is:

"Bar tasting techniques"

http://www.seventypercent.com/.....IC_ID=1110

martinc


Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com

Gobino: Monte, are you the victim of hidden bloom? | Seventypercent.com reviews | Forum