Amano Montanya

We ate the last Amano bar at work on Friday.

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This was a good dark chocolate bar. Not great, but good. I was surprised that it was single origin, because there were no special flavor notes in it at all. The back of the label mentioned apricot and marshmallow flavors, but no one could taste anything at all, other than a nice deep chocolate flavor. Good, but not worth a premium price in any way.

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Amedei 9

This is the last Amedei bar I have to review, but it is by no means the least.

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This bar is called “9” because it combines the cacao of just nine plantations in Venezuela, making it single origin (and then some). For Amedei, it isn’t their most expensive chocolate, or the one voted the best in the world, or even the one from Peru, but it is an extremely good bar. It looked lighter than its 75% cacao would lead me to believe (I expected black, not brown), and it even tasted creamier than the other bars. I checked the label, and no milk is listed. And it has a very deep chocolate flavor, so it holds its own with its sister bars. But of the four, it was my least favorite. That’s not saying much, because the fourth best Amedei bar is still better than 99% of other chocolate, but I have had better Lindt bars than this one, so for the price and difficulty in obtaining it, I would rather just eat Lindt.

Still, if you can find this bar, I recommend a taste. It’s quite good.

Amedei Chuao

A few weeks ago, I tried the Amedei Porcelana bar, the most expensive chocolate bar in the world. Today, I had the Amedei Chuao bar, voted the best chocolate bar in the world (in a contest in London last November, read more about that here).

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As for the name (not to be confused with the brand called Chuao)., apparently Amedei has bought up the entire crop of cacao beans of the Venezuelan town of Chuao for several years to come, and those beans are exclusively used to make this bar. Before that, Valrhona bought those beans, but Amedei offered the farmers three times the price that Valrhona was paying, so now Amedei gets them all.

Robert and I shared the chocolate bar this afternoon (Sunday June 14, 2015), and it was very very good. It has a deep dark roasted chocolate flavor, with very little bitterness or astringency of cheaper bars. I thought the Porcelana was better, but I can see why many people would like this bar better. It is like regular dark chocolate, but pure and clean and deep, and very very delicious.

Amedei chocolate is so good. I am thrilled that I still have another Amedei bar to try! That review will be coming soon!

Amano Ocumare

When I ordered the Amedei chocolate, the seller sent me the wrong chocolates by mistake. They sent me the Amedei and told me to keep the other chocolates as a complimentary gift.

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This dark chocolate bar was made in Utah from cacao beans grown in the Ocumare Valley in Venezuela. Like all single origin bars, it had a unique taste. In this case, it tasted sweet, like blackberries, and then after you swallowed it, there was a coffee aftertaste.

The back of the label explained how the bar was made and also who painted the front cover.

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I must admit, this was the best free chocolate bar that I ever received by mistake!

Amedei Porcelana

Finally, the bar I have waited six years to buy is finally mine: the Amedei Porcelana bar, called the world’s most expensive chocolate.

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Behold this beautiful label! Despite being called the Porcelana, this is a dark chocolate bar, coming in at 70% cacao. Its name derives from the rare cacao beans used to make it, a pure strain of Criollo, which is translucent white before processing. Most chocolate on the market (roughly 95%) is made from inferior tasting Forastero cacao beans, or sometimes the Trinitario hybrid (a combination of Forastero and Criollo), but not the Porcelana bar. It is 100% pure Criollo, grown on small plantations in Venezuela and processed in Italy. So few of these beans are grown that Amedei can only make 20,000 of these bars each year, and this year, I got bar #329, as shown on the back of the label.

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Before I describe how it tasted, let me show you the inside of the label, which describes the Porcelana bar in detail and also has pictures and descriptions of other Amedei chocolate bars (which I might have bought too, so stay tuned).

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OK, enough background. How did this bar taste? In one word: exquisite.

The bar itself is very dark, but so are many other chocolate bars. When you bite into this bar, it has a good bite and melts readily in your mouth. At first, there is the usual deep chocolate flavor. But the taste keeps expanding, growing darker and more roasted, and even more deeply chocolate than before. By the time you swallow that bite, your whole mouth is infused with the richest, most deeply chocolate flavor you have ever tasted. It was amazing. It was truly worthy of the word “exquisite”.

I love Lindt and I love Royce, but this particular bar is my new favorite chocolate bar. I know I won’t be eating it often, but I will savor it each and every time I do.

 

Royce Pure Chocolate

My friend Tiff C. came over for lunch last Sunday and brought this box of Royce goodness.

choc01048aThe box contained little individually-wrapped tablets of single origin chocolate from Ghana and Venezuela. The tablets looked like this.

choc01048bTrue to their names, Ghana was very sweet and smooth, while Venezuela was darker and less sweet, with an astringent aftertaste. I loved them both (of course, it’s Royce!), but I think I liked the Venezuela tablets a little more. They seemed richer tasting, and the chocolate flavor was more pronounced.

Thanks Tiff!

 

 

Christopher Michael Aztec Spiced Bar

Along with the Sizzling Bacon Bar, my friend Tiff C. also gave me this Christopher Michael bar.

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This bar was good. The chocolate was very dark, and I could faintly taste the bright notes of the single-origin Venezuelan dark chocolate. I say faintly because the cinnamon and hot spices washed out most of the chocolate flavor, with the cinnamon coming on strong at the beginning and then the peppers heating up your mouth and throat after you swallowed. I am not saying I didn’t like this bar, but I am surprised that the chocolatier was take such a wonderful chocolate and mask most of its flavor notes with such strong spices.