Monday, April 26, 2010

Valrhona Guanaja

Manufacturer: Valrhona
Cocoa Content: 70%
Manufacturer Website
Rating: B+

I recently stocked up my chocolate supply with a selection of artisan chocolates from Chocosphere. The good folks from Chocosphere were kind enough to include a sample from the French chocolatier Valhrona of their Grand Cru Guanaja dark chocolate (Guanaja is one of the Bay Islands off the north coast of Honduras).

The Valrhona Guanaja is ebony in color with a purplish hue. It has a rich chocolate flavor with nutty notes and a mild acidity. The bitterness builds with time and takes on an espresso-like quality. There is a subdued sweetness with notes of marshmallow. Fruitiness and acidity build with notes of cherry, citrus and plum. Chewing the chocolate brings forward hot cocoa, cherry and faint herbal notes. The finish is mellow and balanced between fruity and bitter notes.

The Valrhona Guanaja is well-balanced and is loaded with complex flavors. In fact, it seems almost too balanced, and it's hard to put a finger on any one defining characteristic. The flavor did seem a bit subdued for my tastes as well. I can see why the Valrhona Guanaja is such a renowned chocolate, but I'm looking for flavor that is a bit bigger than what this bar has to offer.

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