Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Valrhona - Oriado 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate (bar)

 Chocolate of the Day

Oriado 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.46 oz. (70 g.) total bar
Calories: 200 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.25 (US) for 1 bar
Purchased from:, online order

Bonjour and welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and European Chocolate Vacation Theme Week, including (virtual) visits in France.

Today's Oriado 60% Cacao Dark Chocolate (bar) was from Valrhona (Tain L'Hermitage, France). Valrhona, founded by a pastry chef in the early 1920s, has continued to produce chocolate in the Rhone Valley in southeastern France since then. (In 1989 they opened a pastry and chocolate school.) 

As part of a virtual visit to the historic village of Tain, I (virtually) enjoyed a nice soup and lunch, a glass of Chauteuneuf-du-Pape,* and a chocolate dessert after a nice long walk past old stone buildings and up a hill with vineyard and river views. 

And how did today's featured Valrhona Oriado bar taste?

The cacao used to make this Valrhona Oriado bar was a blend of cacaos "sourced directly" from Peru and the Dominican Republic. (Fairly traded content: 99.6%.)

Aroma notes for this bar included: balanced tart citrus herbal green (oxalis,** sorrel, sour grass), chocolate cake and cocoa with vanilla marshmallow. (The citrus green note tended to recede a bit following each initial exposure, allowing the cocoa and vanilla notes to become more prominent.) 

This well-tempered chocolate broke with a firm snap. And the melt and texture were even and uniform.

The flavor notes were consistent with the aroma notes (above), with more pronounced rich, sweet chocolate (dark fudge cake) taste--and a pleasant red berry/blackberry note that blossomed about mid-way through. 

Flavors were well balanced, and relatively complex. Vanilla added a bit of mellow warmth (with very faint, fleeting vanilla tobacco smoke, earthy and leather notes) and implied (chocolate baked goods) sweetness. The flavors lingered a bit into a relatively clean finish. 

Overall this was an easy-to-like dark chocolate that was complex enough to be interesting, but well managed--making it well-suited to eating, as well as baking, chocolate confections, dark chocolate frosting/icing, or pastry making in general.

Maker's tasting notes: "Balanced, vanilla, sweet"

Ingredients: "Dark Chocolate (85% cocoa minimum, pure cocoa butter). Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier: sunflower lecithin, natural vanilla extract. Milk (Made in a facility that uses milk). 

Allergen-related information: "Milk (Made in a facility that uses milk). May contain: gluten, nuts, soya." "May contain wheat, soy, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, chestnuts, coconut and/or all their derivatives."

*Wine grapes associated with the Rhone Valley in France (not far from Valrhona HQ) include Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier and Roussanne. 

Chateauneuf-du-Pape (translated: "Pope's new castle") is a blended wine unique to a very specific region (Chateauneuf commune area) in southeastern France--about 1.5 hours drive south of Tain L'Hermitage. 

This wine is typically a "blend" of three grape types/colors: black grapes (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and perhaps Cinsault, Counoise, Muscadin, Vaccarese, Terret Noir, Picardin Noir, Picpoul Noir), yellow grapes (Claret, Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, Buorboulenc, Picpoul and Picardin), and pink grapes (Picardin Gris, Clairette Rose, Grenache Gris and Picpoul Rose). 

**Note: oxalic acid is a natural component of cacao and can contribute to "citrus" notes being attributed to some chocolates.) 

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