Monday, March 27, 2017

Frederic Blondeel - Vietnam 80% bar - Mar. 27, 2017

Chocolate of the Day:

Frederic Blondeel
IX Tablette (Bar) - Vietnam 80% Chocolat Noir (Dark Chocolate)
Good - Good +
Weight: .636 oz. (18 g.) / 1.59 oz. (45 g.) in total bar
Calories: 60 calories (per label) in 2/5 bar
Cost: $6.99 (free shipping on large order) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Chocolate Stars USA, online order

Bienvenue a (Welcome to) Day #2 of Chocolate and Vietnam Theme Week.

This 80% Vietnam bar was made from bean-to-bar in Belgium by Frederic Blondeel (Veurne, Belgium).

Blondeel, who produces bars and confections,* has created a series of ten different single origin bars. The roman numeral on today's tablette (bar) indicated that today's Vietnam bar was number IX (9) in this series.

This 80 percent bar also had one of the highest percentage of cacao solids in the Frederic Blondeel line.

A high-quality eighty or even ninety percent bar may have as fine an aroma as any seventy percent bar. This bar had a warm spice aroma (like smelling cinnamon raisin toast with melted chocolate from a few rooms away).

As happens with many ultra-dark bars, there was a step down in taste after the first bite, due to the lack of conventional use of sugar to buoy things up. Suddenly I was in deeper, darker territory than I might have expected (after days of eating much sweeter chocolates).

The only minor quibble was with the texture. The bar was mostly smooth, but had a few very tiny hard bits. The melt was a bit slow and very slightly uneven (not enough to be annoying). As each bite melted other flavor notes unfolded. The chocolate and mild spice notes were joined and/or replaced by mild hints of green wood, citrus, and earth.

And this 80% Vietnam chocolate had a unique aftertaste with a trace of espresso-like, roasted bitterness and acidity (good if you like coffee).

*Frederic Blondeel produces chocolate bars, including a series of single origin bars, confections, couvertures and other items—including "Gladiators" small single origin bars with inclusions.

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