Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Review: Valrhona Grand Cru Abinao 85%

Lindy's Rating: 6.0
Richard's Rating: 6.0

chocolate makerValrhona
cacao treesForastero
size70g ~ 2.5oz
cocoa solids85%
added fatcocoa butter
emulsifiersoy lecithin
flavoringvanilla extract
other ingredients(none)
list price$6.99

colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1015
texturematte, smooth flower,
asymmetric scoring lines
aromaroast, fruit (raisin), earth, sweet (molasses)
tasteashy, fruit (raisin), roast, sour
meltmore smooth
finishtannin, slightly bitter
Africa was the source of Forastero cacao beans for Abinao 85%, one of Valrhona's Grand Cru line of chocolates. Valrhona made this chocolate from cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and natural vanilla extract. Cocoa solids (both beans and cocoa butter) totaled 85%. The thin 70 gram bar was formed as normal for their Grand Cru bars: a matte texture with smooth imprints of a flower and the Valrhona name. The score lines were asymmetric, giving 25 pieces of varied sizes. The particular bar we reviewed had a best before date of December 2011.

Abinao had a medium brown Bracken (PANTONE 19-1015) color and the bar had a hard snap. The chocolate revealed aromas of roast, raisin, earth, and a sweetness Lindy recognized as molasses.

The taste started with an initial ashiness that quickly faded behind a strong raisin flavor. Roast was obviously present, and we tasted some sourness. There seemed to be hints of other fruit, too, but we couldn't identify them.

The melt was smoother than typical after a somewhat slow start. We rated it more smooth. The length was short, with only about 10 seconds of chocolate flavor after the chocolate was gone. The final aftertaste was tannin, with a slight bitterness.

For delivery in the U.S., you can purchase Valrhona Abinao 85% online for $6.99 directly from Valrhona or for $5.65 from Chocosphere. For delivery in the U.K. (and Europe), you can purchase it online for £3.55 from Chocolate Trading Co.

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