Chocolate of the Day
L'Amourette Chocolat LLC
Gold Trinitario Venezuela Sur Del Lago 80% (bar)
Weight: 1.13 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.5 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 160 calories (per label) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $9.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: All About The Chocolate, Monterey, CA
Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week, and the 15th birthday (Day #5,476) of Chocolate Banquet.
Today's Gold Trinitario Venezuela Sur Del Lago 80% (bar) was made and distributed by L'Amourette Chocolat LLC (San Francisco, CA). The company has offered a line of single origin bars (including several from Colombia and Venezuela) and some with flavor inclusions.
This L'Amourette Sur de Lago 80% bar was the the perfect guest of honor at today's pirate-themed 15th birthday celebration for Chocolate Banquet. Fifteen years of enjoying a new/different chocolate item every day (plus two other birthdays) were great reasons to celebrate.
Chief chocolate maker Andre V. at L'Amourette crafted today's Venezuela chocolate from bean-to-bar in San Francisco, using difficult to obtain Trinitario variety cacao from a fascinating region.
Lake Maracaibo, Pirates, Lightning and Cacao
Sur del Lago ("south of the lake") is the area where the cacao used to craft today's chocolate was grown. And not just any lake...Today's cacoa was grown within walking distance of Lake Maracaibo.
This large, almost mythical "lake" (a large, brackish bay that is open at the upper end to the Caribbean Sea) is linked to pirate* legends, epic lightning storms, and cacao.
Tasting Sur De Lago
The rich aroma of this ultra-dark 80% bar had notes that included (in order of appearance) deep, dark chocolate, raspberry jam, green (stalk, floral), ripe tropical fruit (mango, sapote, cacao pulp), balanced iron-rich, tropical forest/loamy soil, and green herb (very, very faint licorice).
This chocolate had an abundance of rich flavor and natural, jammy fruit and mineral sweetness. The raspberry (red and black) preserve notes in the aroma carried over to taste, as did some of the bold, but balanced green, molasses, floral and earth notes. There were a few flashes of nut butter as well.
Taster's notes: Made with using 48 hour conching process
Ingredients: "Venezuelan cocoa beans (Sur Del Lago), cocoa butter, organic cane sugar"
Allergen-related information: "Soy and gluten free product. Vegan...Manufactured in a facility that also processes nuts."
*Numerous raids, skirmishes and attacks involving pirates in the (distant and recent) past have occurred in Lake Maracaibo. (Europeans first discovered this bay in 1499 and Spanish settlers moved in later.)
In 1669, famous pirate and Welsh buccaneer Captain Henry Morgan raided Spanish settlements on the shores of Lake Maracaibo, and is said to have wreaked havoc on an advancing Spanish Fleet, evading capture in the process. In the 1820s, a battle for independence from the Spanish also occurred on this Lake.
In the fictional adventures of Captain Blood (in the book Captain Blood published in 1922, written by R. Sabatini), a similar pirate eluded capture by his nemesis Don Miguel de Espinosa in Lake Maracaibo.
Many present-day pirate attacks have been associated with the oil operations there.
As for the lightning storms, I recommend doing a Google search on "pictures of lightning and Lake Maracaibo." It is a fabulous spot for lightning (specifically the natural phenomenon known as catatumbo lightning where hundreds of strikes can occur in a relatively small area during a nighttime storm).