The Chocolate Tree ventures boldly into territory formerly almost the exclusive domain of Pacari with a raw chocolate that one has reason to believe may be classified as “fine”. It’s even more refreshing to see an exciting origin: Madagascar, whose bright fruitiness might indeed be shown to the fore in a raw interpretation. This will ..
Scotland joins the club of bean-to-bar countries with this (and other) chocolates from interesting micro-producer The Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh. This is a new experiment for a company previously involved in confectionery and who also sell other-branded bars in their shop. With such small production and so early on in the experiment, one expects inevitably ..
The other half of the Chuno pair from Friis-Holm, which plays the very interesting game of asking by way of practical experimentation what differences in fermentation might do. Like the Triple Turned, this explores an entirely new space in chocolate tasting and for similar reasons is one to try at least once, if not more. ..
After a long hiatus, during which Red Star was apparently tinkering with their process, Duffy returns with a revised Ocumare dark. A well-known but highly-reputed origin is an obvious place to start after process changes, and this one will suggest comparisons to their earlier version as well as to other bars in the field, even ..
Boldly introducing what other chocolate manufacturers seem to have shied away from, Red Star provides a truly elite-bean milk chocolate, and at gratifyingly high percentage. This is likely to mean extreme expectations, so the pressure is clearly upon Duffy to deliver with this chocolate. It’s a welcome sight, however, to see a chocolatier treating milk ..
Madagascar keeps on throwing up local chocolate manufacturers…with a reputation for inconsistency. Here we go with another one whose long-term results will have to be tested in time but who show that the Madagascans are determined to try to get it right. As usual the questions focus around the processing choices at manufacture; no one ..
A possible first for a growing country chocolate maker, Pacari release their first bar made with cacao from outside their home country of Ecuador. Piura is fast becoming famous as an origin for its white-beaned local cacao in the north or Peru and here Pacari take a giant leap forward as they begin to widen ..
In the third of their “prestigious vintages” series, Pralus ventures into a bean/origin not so heavily promoted as Porcelana or Chuao: Cuyagua. Indeed, only one other specific instance of this origin has appeared in the past, so in many ways this is a completely new experience. With Pralus’ make-or-break style, the real question is whether ..
Pralus jumps onto the Porcelana bandwagon with another offering in what is becoming a crowded field. In many respects, it’s difficult to imagine what Pralus can bring to this party, given that Porcelana’s mild, retreating nature would seem to clash with Pralus’ assertive, robust style. However, at least one useful potential contribution is to serve ..
New for 2011, a reincarnation of Valrhona’s earlier gift-box only Pedregal offering. Porcelana – a Venezuelan white-beaned criollo variety – is often considered to be the ‘champagne’ of cacao varieties. Sort after, rare and often imitated – many a white-beaned cacao is all too easily given the name. In reality, only a few genuine sources ..
Red Star introduces what is to be hoped is an alternative interpretation of the same source bean so ably transformed by Friis-Holm. Based on the boldness of the Friis-Holm version, we may expect this to be a good fit to the Red Star style. It’s clear that with such small origins, Red Star is making ..
Another attempt at wild cocoa similar to Felchlin’s ground-breaking Cru Sauvage, from what we must assume are similar origins. However, Bojesen leaves no doubt he is aiming at a higher standard still, which, given the superb product from Felchlin, is an ambitious target indeed. Whether this is pure Criollo is as usual a matter of ..
Chocolate made by Bonnat for Friis Holm, using Indio Rojo cacao from the Xoco Gourmet project in Honduras
Fresco makes small batches of dark chocolate, changing the formula between bars (the roast and conche levels are marked on the package)
Hoja Verde prides itself on its Fino Arriba cacao beans, grown on small plantations that focus on conservation, and on its locally-made organic chocolate, made for them by Ecuadorian private-label producer TuliCorp