Thursday, June 22, 2023

A. Morin - Venezuela Porcelana Noir 70% (bar) - June 22, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

A. Morin
Venezuela Porcelana Noir 70% (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.17 oz. (33.3 g.) / 3.52 oz. (100 g.) in total bar
Calories: 194.4 calories in 1/3 bar
Cost: $13.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

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

Venezuela has historically produced some of the best tasting cacao in the world. It's one of the "cradle" regions where cacao originated* (along with Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and parts of Central America). 

Economic and political changes in Venezuela in the past decade have been challenging at times. Thankfully there are still Venezuelan cacao-based chocolates available; and I still look forward to featuring Venezuela origin weeks, every year or so, or when I find seven new chocolates to feature.

Today's Venezuela Porcelana Noir (Dark) 70% (bar) was from A. Morin (Donzere, France). The company's chocolate making legacy "has been passed from father to son since 1884."

Aroma notes for this well-executed single origin chocolate included: dark chocolate (ganache, fudge brownie) and faint fruit (blackberry).

This bar had a smooth, almost creamy melt. 

Flavor notes included: dark chocolate (rich, dark, hot drinking chocolate); complex, subtle fruit: dark berry (ripe blackberry) and faint fleeting tropical (passion fruit); and very faint, balanced earth (dark forest loam) toward the finish.

A. Morin (maker's) notes: "This cocoa, with porcelain colored pods, is grown in the Maracaibo** region. A chocolate with roasted aromas before nuts come and complete the vegetal notes, and then ends on a hot chocolate savor."

I enjoyed the subtle complexity and appreciated the treatment of the deep rich, natural flavor notes in this Venezuelan chocolate. 

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, sunflower lecithin

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of milk, nuts and sesame"

*Cacao trees (Theobroma cacao) trees are believed to have evolved in the Amazon rain forests of northern South America approximately 10 million years ago. Evidence of human cultivation of cacao goes back 5,300 years ago. I can't help but wonder if wild foraging could have started earlier to that.

**The Maracaibo region in NW Venezuela where today's cacao (used to make this chocolate) originated is steeped with fascinating natural phenomena (Catumbo lightning strikes over a large pendant shaped lake) and interesting history (surrounding indigenous peoples, cacao's genetic diversity, pirates, and oil exploration). I'd enjoy a short visit there if it were more feasible. In the meantime, I'll have to be content with reading stories, watching YouTube videos, and tasting chocolate with roots in this region.

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