Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ranking: Chuao Comparison

Chuao is a region of Venezuela renown for its extremely high quality cacao beans. The cacao trees in the plantations in Chuao are primarily pure Criollo, although there are some hybrid Trinitario as well. In any case, this is supposed to be the source of perhaps the best chocolate anywhere.

For several years, Amedei had an arrangement to purchase all of the cacao beans from several of the plantations there. This exclusive deal kept many others from producing Chuao bars. However, some have managed to do so, and the following is a comparison of the four Chuaos I've been able to get my hands on.

Apparently Pralus recently released a Chuao bar that I hope to buy soon. Based on one image on Pralus's website, it may be made of Trinitario cacao. In any case, I'll post an updated Chuao comparison once we try Pralus's bar.

  • None of these bars use an emulsifier.
  • The color of all the Chuaos were close to the PANTONE 19-1015 Bracken, though two were medium browns and two were darker.
  • There isn't a list price for the Amedei or Bonnat, so I used pricing from Chocolopolis for them instead.

chocolate makerAmanoAmedeiBonnatCoppeneur
Lindy's rating**************
Richard's rating*************
cocoa solids70%70%75%70%
added fatcocoa buttercocoa buttercocoa butter(none)
sweetenercane sugarcane sugarsugarcane sugar
colormedium-dark brownmedium brownmedium-dark brownmedium brown
aromacoffee, earthy(musty), hint of coconutraspberryearthy(musty, soil), roast, hints of molasses and allspiceplum, sweet, berry
tastestrong blackberry, plum, hint of earthyinitial honey, strong cherryroast (smoky), blueberry, strawberryplum, tart, hint of ginger
meltless smoothcreamyless smoothcreamy
finishslightly drymildly acidicfaintly fruitytart
size56g ~ 2.0oz50g ~ 1.8oz100g ~ 3.5oz50g ~ 1.8oz
price per bar$9.95$13.00$9.99$7.95
price per ounce$4.98$7.37$2.83$4.51

Overall, Lindy and I would both rank these excellent chocolates (in order from best to very good):
  1. Amedei
  2. Bonnat
  3. Coppeneur
  4. Amano

1 comment:

  1. Nice comparison! Amedei Chuao is still my all time Top Favorite too. The Pralus Chuao is awesome too when you can get your hands on it. There's also a Valrhona Chuao if you can find it.