Saturday, June 24, 2023

La Feverie (Hasnaa Chocolats Grands Crus) - 77% Chuao Aragua Venezuela (bar) - June 24, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

La Feverie (Hasnaa Chocolats Grands Crus )
77% Chuao Aragua Venezuela (bar)
Good +
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (56.6 g.) in total bar
Calories: 164 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $14.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Venezuela Theme Week.

Today's 77% Chuao Aragua Venezuela (2017 Harvest) (bar) was from La Feverie (Hasnaa Chocolats Grands Crus) (Bordeaux, France).

Aroma notes included: dark chocolate, brown/dried fruits (faint fig, faint dried banana), very faint, fleeting rye bread and molasses.

This well-tempered bar broke with a snap and had a slightly coarse texture/mouthfeel, in part due to some tart fruit astringency. 

There was no cocoa butter added to this two-ingredient bar--bucking the trend of this past several years in craft chocolate. So many chocolate makers add cocoa butter that you can miss it when it's not there to "cushion" some stronger flavors and add creamier texture. 

The more pleasant fruit nuances in this Venezuelan cacao were diffuse and subtle; and adding cocoa fat may have silenced what was there. Making bean-to-bar chocolate is not for the faint of heart. 

Flavor notes included: dark chocolate (cocoa nibs) and brown/dried fruits (faint fig, faint dried banana, citrus (pink grapefruit), trinitario cacao pulp)--with astringent dried fruit kicking in after the first several seconds and lingering into the first part of the finish, along with a very faint, flicker of avocado.

This 77% cacao dark chocolate tasted more like an ultra-dark bar (85%+) because of its bold, frisky brown and citrus-like fruit astringency, and lack of flowery natural sweetness. This rougher chocolate had personality and complexity (which I generally like); but, I felt like the maker may have been working with a challenging batch of cacao. She succeeded. And I felt grateful to be able to taste this chocolate, even if it was a different experience from Chuao bars from years ago.*

Chuao and Porcelana have been legendary Venezuelan cacao-growing regions for a very long time; and they may be so again in the future. In recent years there have been challenges in Venezuela that I'm guessing might have affected the cacao supply chain. 

Maker's notes: "Sweet and sour notes of fresh citrus fruit, and tricky smoked flavours."

Ingredients: Cacao Beans and Organic Cane Sugar

Allergen-related information: (None listed on label.)

*Single origin cacao flavors can also vary from harvest to harvest, season to season, year to year--just like wine.

A. Morin - Venezuela Carenero Noir 70% (bar) - June 23, 2023

Chocolate of the Day

A. Morin
Venezuela Carenero Noir 70% (bar)
Good ++ - 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: $11.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

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

Today's Venezuela Carenero Noir 70% (bar) was from A. Morin (Donzere, France). 

The cacao origin for this chocolate is Carenero (a small town in the Miranda region) in north, central Venezuela (east of Caracas). 

Aroma notes for this "pure origin" (single origin) cacao chocolate included: fudge-y deep, dark chocolate, dried fruit (plum, fig, apricot/nectarine, dark cherry, cacao pulp), faint citrus, faint sweet green botanical/floral (banana), and very faint graham cracker and clean mineral.

The flavor included a deeper dive into the fudge-y dark chocolate, and a continuation of the intriguingly complex bouquet of fruits mentioned above--with a fleeting whisper of buttered fresh bread and jam. This 70% bar also had a pleasant subtle lingering, clean finish, with barely there fleeting jam and almond butter notes.* 

Great balanced fruit and cacao complexity. Not too sweet; not too acidic or bitter. Smooth texture; relatively low in fruit astringency. This was a well-executed winner in my book.

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

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

*Aroma and flavor notes mentioned in write-ups on Chocolate Banquet reflect what I'm smelling and detecting as I'm tasting a chocolate. Cacao varieties, like wine grape varieties, are naturally complex. If I mention plum jam or almond butter, that doesn't mean the chocolate contains fruits or nuts.

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