Thursday, December 9, 2010

Review: Valrhona Palmira

Lindy's Rating: 6.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 7.0 (previously ***)

chocolate makerValrhona
cacao treesCriollo
size75g ~ 2.6oz
cocoa solids64%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
other ingredients(none)
list price$7.99

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1317 Bitter Chocolate
texturesmooth with text imprints and scoring
aromaearthy, berry (blackberry), spice (cinnamon, nutmeg)
tastebrown sugar, honey, toffee, hint of nut, hint of floral
finishslightly acidic
At the recent blind chocolate tasting, we tasted all three of Valrhona's single plantation bars as part of a comparison of seven cacao growing regions. The Palmira bar was the chocolate from Venezuela. According to a representative, the Palmira plantation has exclusively Criollo trees.

This chocolate had a lovely aroma: earthy, with a berry that I thought was blackberry, and a spice that some detected as cinnamon and others as nutmeg. Unfortunately, the high sugar content of this bar seemed to hide other potentially interesting flavors suggested by its aroma. Brown sugar, honey, and toffee were the most common descriptions. One person noticed something nutty, perhaps almond, and another something floral.

The melt was smooth and the length short. The final aftertaste of the Palmira, though, was surprisingly lacking in bitterness, leaving only a slightly acidic finish. As with all of the Valrhona bars, there was the consistent observation that this chocolate was too sweet.

Unfortunately, we did not take an opportunity to photograph the opened chocolate bars at the tasting, so I only have a picture of the wrapper.

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