• Our rating: 85.8% (1 review)
  • Company:
  • Cacao solids: 69%
  • Guide Price: £49.95
  • Description by: Seventy%
  • Production: Produced directly from beans by maker
  • Certification:
    • None
  • Ingredients:
    • cocoa beans
    • brown sugar
    • vanilla
    • emulsifier: soya lecithin

Porcelana, extremely rare pearly-white cocoa beans. Pedregal, a plantation on stony and inhospitable soil. An astonishing contrast between the surroundings and Porcelana at the foot of the Andes cordillera, springing from its source at the heart of the plantation created by Valrhona. Valrhona has saved this fragile and precious species from extinction thanks to ten years' scrupulous care and attention. The magic charm of this unique chocolate with refined and subtle taste is conveyed through the delicate shape of a cacao tree flower.

Valrhona – Porcelana Del Pedregal—Chocolate Review Rating: 85.8% out of 100 based on 1 reviews.

Valrhona – Porcelana Del Pedregal

This chocolate practically shrieks pretentiousness from the second you hear of it. Perhaps no other chocolate seems so narcissistic. Underneath the layers of snobbery, however, lies a very good chocolate, one that in humbler guise might well receive high praise. It is, however, a chocolate with imperfections – which might be overlooked in a simpler chocolate but here demand sharp criticism.


Alex Rast: 11-Oct-2005

Posted: October 11, 2005 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 10%
Look/snap: 5%
Taste: 35%
Melt: 5%
Length: 15%
Opinion: 30%
Total/100: 100%
Best before:
Batch num:
Supplied by:

Valrhona wins no points for environmental sensitivity with its packaging on this one. The 324 grams of chocolate come in a huge, unwieldy pentagonal box, no doubt some overactive marketroid’s folly. Furthermore, the chocolate inside has been moulded into an artistic but silly cacao flower shape, made up of multiple segments of varying sizes and shapes. Evidently Valrhona has never read Sandra Boynton’s classic “”Chocolate, the Consuming Passion”” and its dead-on observation: “”those who favor (sic) dark chocolate have little patience with cute candy””. Valrhona has misunderstood their target market – those who will drop 50 quid for 324 grams of chocolate are going to be dead-serious chocoholics, not curious dilettantes.

If you can get past the frou-frou packaging, the chocolate itself looks extremely good. It’s a neutral, medium-light brown, lacking, perhaps, the classic sheen but ultra-smooth on surface and completely lacking in bubbling, mould irregularities, tempering blemishes, or indeed any surface imperfections at all.

The aroma is breathtaking: a rich, smooth tobacco/chestnut at first, then developing into an ultrapure chocolatey smell, shifting at last to aromatic woody, cedar in cast. It’s hardly a stretch to say this is one of the best-smelling chocolates that has ever been made. Flavour, however, is slightly confused. It begins with a somewhat puzzling nuttiness, reminiscent of cashew, and then tantalises with a cocoa, creamy component that suggests the high Porcelana roots it possesses. But it settles finally on a woody, tobacco underpinning, not a bad flavour at all but not really representative of Porcelana nor really the very best in chocolate in the first place. With a chocolate like this, quibbles become serious criticisms and if all criticisms of the flavour are just that – quibbles – they eat away at its overall appeal.

And the texture is very much a miss for Valrhona, with a decided coarseness and dryness, almost fudgey. A chocolate of this pedigree absolutely must have the superb texture for which Valrhona is known and for it not to is a pretty severe flaw. One could look past it, perhaps, if the flavour were as great as the aroma, but this is ultimately a chocolate which is strong on expectation but slightly shaky on delivery.

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