Tuesday, July 29, 2008

chocolate reviews

So, the Pralus 75% Trinitario was not "life-changing," although I much appreciated the recommendation. But with such puffery, I was expecting something different. I don't know what, though. It is an interesting, complex chocolate--quite dark, a smoky, lapsang souchong taste to it, slightly acidic. Not rich or creamy, the way I prefer my chocolate. So, you know, not for me. I think I like my chocolate kind of richer and creamier on the tongue. Fattier tasting, kind of mouth-filling. Not Hershey's milk chocolate, mind you. But I am not one of those chocolate aficionados who can distinguish chocolate by region (just as I don't really buy into oenophilia) or insist that only 110% cacao is "real chocolate." Ugh, above a certain percentage and it's just not that enjoyable--and I think it's too much of a psychological metaphor to consume dark bitterness as if it were candy. I think I like my chocolate around 62%, and as low as 41%.

Notwithstanding my preference for a round, chocolatey taste with a bit of salt to urge on the sweet, I quite liked the Dolfin Noir au The' Earl Grey, which is dark but not too dark, and a prominent, flowery, bergamot flavor. It works really well, not unlike lavender and chocolate or rose and chocolate. I can't really think of another tea that would work so well, and I am somewhat of a tea fanatic. I am less fond of the Dolfin Noir au Poivre Rose, which is a bit too peppery, obscuring the chocolateyness. It's not that it's spicy, which I would like, since chocolate and chilies and cinnamon and cardamom is a wonderful, classic combination. More that it's a bit too imbalanced, like licking a dusting of pepper from your palm and being struck by the rather blunt assault on your taste buds and olfactory senses. Better was the Dolfin Noir au Gingembre Frais, which is not quite high falutin' or complex, but just plain good and oddly familiar and nostalgic. I like Asian ginger candy, which my mom eats as a digestive and tasty treat. When I'm super sick, I drink ginger root tea, and the overwhelming pepperyness is made complex by the rich and aromatic taste of the ginger. Plus, it really clears the sinuses, and smells good. Perhaps that's the difference between the fancy chocolate I like and the the fancy chocolate I like less--if you're going to add stuff to chocolate, let the result be a complex, aromatic flavor, and let the senses combine such that you are struck, at once, by taste, smell, and the tactile sensation of something rich melting on the tongue and pressed against the roof of the mouth.

Next, I might try the Zotter bars, unless someone has another recommendation. I actually haven't finished trying all of the Vosges. I have a fair amount of chocolate left, and limited funds, and so it might take a while before the next chocolate review.