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Thursday, September 1, 2016
The 'Pralus Pyramide' - What's old is new again (to me, at least)
I was in France in 2004 and 2005, but at that time my chocolate knowledge was limited. So needless to say, I am kicking myself for not spending more time on chocolate research that year, rather than just blindly tasting my way through the country. If I had put the extra effort in, I would have known that Maison Pralus was 'the' place to visit in France, with at least eight 'boutiques' that can be found in different cities, including Paris, Roanne, Lyon and Charlieu and Renaison.
But I will not wallow in my own self-pity about chocolate experiences that could have been, and instead focus on the wonderful chocolate that I have now, which is this amazing mini pyramid of single origin tasting chocolate. I took four days to taste these small morsels of chocolate that burst with every kind of origin chocolate flavour imaginable. This was perfect for a taste comparison, since all 10 chocolates have 75% cocoa solids and the same ingredients (other than a difference in the origin of the cocoa beans used), so origin flavours can really be compared among them.
With 10 chocolates, it was difficult to keep track of the chocolate flavours, so I created a list and added some simple bullet points to describe them, which I would modify on the second and third tasting depending on my taste buds each day. My summary list is below, if you care to see, or you could just taste them yourself and see what flavours you discover! The mini pyramid is ideal for one person, maybe two, to taste. The full-size pyramid would be ideal for a group chocolate tasting party.
I purchased the Pralus mini Pyramyde de Tropiques for $10.49 CAD from La Tablette de Miss Choco in Montreal, which ships to Canada and US locations (www.latablette.ca). You can also purchase direct from the Pralus website at: www.chocolats-pralus.com. I believe they ship worldwide.
Here are my tasting notes on each single origin chocolate bar:
Ecuador 75% - straight up chocolate flavour, taste the roast, nutty on the melt.
Sao Tomé & Principe 75% - creamy, fruity but not high acidity so no citrus, perhaps dried fruit, prune?
Venezuela 75% - bright, upfront roast, almost fruity, but chocolaty, creamy
Indonésie 75% - a lot smoky, woody. Nearly overpowering smoke, yet enjoyable.
Tanzania 75% - strange, is it leather and fruit? mild. Not very astringent. A little fruit and roast in the aroma.
Madagascar 75% - roasted fruit, berry including raspberry and blackberry, red grape.
Trinidad 75% - I originally thought 'tobacco', but was unsure of what I was tasting. But I think Pralus label makers were confused on this one too, package says: "spices grilled smoked dried herbs, mild tobacco".
Ghana 75% - blackberry, spicy, sweeter than the others because of less acidity.
Columbie 75% - coffee with milk, and chocolate flavour.
Ingredients: single origin cocoa beans, sugar, pure cocoa butter, GMO-free soya lecithin. Contains 75% cocoa solids.