Friday, April 30, 2010

Amedei Chuao Cioccolato Fondente Extra 70%

Manufacturer: Amedei
Cocoa Content: 70%
Manufacturer Website
Rating: A+

It's not often I taste something for a review that is so far ahead of everything in its class that I want to make a new rating score above "A+". This is one of those times. Simply put, this is the best chocolate I have ever tasted bar-none.

The chocolate I am referring to is "Chuao" by Tuscan chocolate maker Amedei. Chuao is a peninsula on the coast of Venezuela whose plantation has been lauded as producing some of the finest cocoa in the world dating as far back as the colonization of the New World. Amedei makes their chocolate bar using beans solely from this plantation.

It's apparent immediately that this is a special chocolate bar as the packaging is rather unique. Breaking the seal allows you to unfold the heavy cardstock outer packaging. This reveals the foil-wrapped bar inside. The Chuao bar itself is a deep ruby-brown color. It breaks with a pleasing solid snap.

Once the Amedei Chuao hits the palate there is an instant rich chocolate flavor. This is followed by a tangy acidity. Both bitter and roasted notes are present in balance. There is a wealth of fruitiness with notes of sour cherries, plums, tart blackberries and a citrus note akin to fresh squeezed orange juice. There are also notes of bread, salt and almond. Chewing the Chuao bar brings forward coffee and earthiness followed by a squirt of lemonade. The finish lingers for a long while, and the various flavors present still develop for some time. The finish has a fruity acidic undertone along with cocoa, espresso and peanut butter. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with a touch of juiciness.

The Amedei Chuao is in a class by itself as far as dark chocolate bars go. It is big, bold and has an incredible flavor. Although chocolate makers have been making single source chocolates using cocoa from a specific region, chocolates sourced from a single plantation are showing excellent promise. To me, the Amedei Chuao is the Chateau d'Yquem of the chocolate world. While there is a premium on the price tag ($13 American for one standard-size bar when I bought mine), it is well worth it. This is a must-have for chocolate fans.

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