Thursday, May 7, 2020

Chapon Chocolatier - Venezuela 70% Porcelana mini bar - May 6, 2020

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chapon Chocolatier
Venezuela 70% Porcelana mini bar
Good ++
Weight: .176 oz. (5 g.) / 6.35 oz. (180 g.) in total box of 36 mini bars
Calories: 27 calories (estimate) in 1 mini bar
Cost: $45.00 for 1 box of 36 mini bars
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #2 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.

Last week was Chocolate and Colombia Theme Week, and this week the focus shifted to neighboring country, Venezuela. Both South American countries have a cacao history that stretches back thousands of years.

In the 13+ years since Chocolate Banquet began, the fortunes of these two South American countries have evolved. Colombia is more fully recovered (from years of internal strife), and Venezuela has been suffering economically in recent years.

Fortunately, several international chocolate companies still offer single origin Venezuela bars (made with Venezuela-grown cacao), including today's Venezuela 70% Porcelana mini bar from Chapon Chocolatier (Paris/Chelles, France).

Today's mini bar was part of a larger Chapon single origin collection (that included two other Venezuela bars (featured yesterday) and one from Colombia (featured last week). Today's small 70% Porcelana bar was sweet and had a tart fruitiness and a faint earth note.

Porcelana is a rare and precious cacao. Cacao seeds/beans are lighter in color and flavor, and trees are grown/found in an area near/south of Lake Maracaibo (Sur del Lago) in Western Venezuela. The largest lake in South America, this estuary is more akin to a salty bay given its connection to the Caribbean Sea. Its famous lightning storms and oil drilling exploits create an exotic, dark mystique around this region. Always glad to see rare plants and trees surviving what seem to be tough conditions.

Chapon Chocolatier - Venezuela 100% and Chuao 70% mini bars - May 5, 2020

Chocolate(s) of the Day: 

Chapon Chocolatier
1.) Venezuela 100% Cacao small bar - Good +
2.) Venezuela 70% Chuao small bar - Good +++
Weight: .176 oz. (5 g.) x 2 / 6.35 oz. (180 g.) in total box of 36 mini bars
Calories:  calories in 2 mini bars
Cost: $45.00 for 1 box of 36 mini bars
Purchased from: Chocolate Covered, San Francisco, CA

Bienvenidos (Welcome) to Day #1 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.

Today's Venezuela mini bars were part of a larger single origin collection of 12 different bars artfully assembled by Chapon Chocolatier (Paris, France). Of the twelve bars, three were from Venezuela, including the two being featured today.

Venezuela 100% Cacao
This small bar was redolent with bittersweet aroma, rich roasted coffee and cacao bean, and faint green and spice notes. It had a smooth melt and a rich dark flavor, with balanced bitter earth and a faint fig cookie note. The finish was mellow and pleasant.

The (Chapon) maker's tasting notes read as follows: "Earthy, spicy."

Venezuela 70% Chuao
Chuao rhymes with wah-ow, or wow, as it should. Chuao is a famous cacao-growing area in the state of Aragua, Venezuela (in a mountainous coastal area about 42 miles (and a 2.5 hour bus ride north of Caracas). Chuao farms/plantations produce some amazing chocolate.

The Chuao 70% chocolate had faint sweet green tea and spice, chocolate cake, red berry, cherry, fig and more delicate tropical fruit notes. And that was just the aroma!

It had subtle, complex fruit (red berry, cherry, fig and delicate tropical fruit and light tangerine) flavor notes.

The (Chapon) maker's tasting notes were classified as follows: Fruity, Stimulating, Nutty, Earthy.

Packaging notes
Chocolate Banquet readers may have observed my love affair with Chapon Chocolatier packaging and graphics. The French term "carracks" on this Chapon "coffret" (box) eluded me at first. The word may come from a term for a merchant cargo ship centuries ago that were subsequently outfitted for adventures and possibly treasure gathering in/from new worlds. OK, I'm on board now. Today's decorated chocolate box was filled with gem-like chocolate cartridges, perfectly labeled, stowed and secured, from various parts of the globe.

It made me wonder what a hand-painted wooden ship-like version of this collection would look like. Fantasy complete.

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