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Hi! I've run across an Italian brand of chocolate but could not find a single review of it on the internet.

The brand is called Agostoni.

Have any of you had any experience with this brand?

Thanks!

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Agostini is a subsidiary of ICAM, the Italian-based multinational.  

I was able to try their chocolate at the Summer Fancy Food show.  From what I can remember, I was surprised by the quality of their chocolate.  I believe their Organic white chocolate blew me away.  I'm more of a dark chocolate lover, so I was surprised that I actually liked their white!  Their hazelnut chocolate was also amazing.  The sales representative had said that chefshop.com carries their line...I hope that helps!

Dear Ann,

Thanks! Do you remember which of their dark chocolates you tried?

No problem Hank!  I'm just surprised that I remembered their chocolates...I'm a big fan of organic chocolate, so I know that their 60% organic was one of the best semi-sweets I've had.  I'm looking at Chefshop right now and they have it!  It's called "Agostoni Organic 60% San Primo"...you just reminded me that I made a mental note to purchase some semi-sweet chocolate for the holidays!

Dear Ann,

Thank you very much. I'm wondering how their other dark chocolates fair too. Anyone out there try others?

Look up Icam, it is the parent company, well establlished in Italy, makes good choocolate.

Hi Hank,

I would be happy to send you some samples of our Chocolate to try for yourself.  Thanks,

Ellane:  epirotte@agostonichocolate.com

Thank you Ellane very much for the shipment of the 10 samples. I conducted several blind tastings and found the Agostoni chocolates consistently winners!

Here are some of my tasting notes:

The Agostoni Gianduia is truly outstanding. The blend of top-quality milk chocolate with perfectly roasted hazelnuts is a real winner. So excellent that I immediately ordered it in bulk.

(My preference is for darker chocolate, e.g. 70%, and so am more sensitive that most to chocolates being sweet)

I found the Bianca Bio (bio means organic) to have a very well-rounded and fine flavor for a white chocolate, and while I found it a little bit too sweet, my other tasters loved it.

Of the two milk chocolates, I preferred the milder Finissimo Bio (32%) for its flavor notes, but the slightly darker (Ricco) will appeal to those who like caramel notes in their milk chocolate.

Now on to the darks (in my mind, the main event):

The best of all of the Agostoni chocolate according to myself and the majority of my tasters was the Single Origin Peru (70%). It is incredibly well-rounded in flavor, with fruity, wine, raisin, and cherry notes. Lovely, lovely, lovely. (And yes, I also purchased this in bulk immediately).

Almost equally pleasing, but with more of a balanced and hearty and lush fine chocolate experience was the Tremezzo Bio (70%). One of the favorites of most of the tasters too.

The Bittra (60%) is actually amazingly fine given its slightly lower chocolate content. It too is fruity, with a creamy, rounded, and "high" notes. It was one of the taster's favorites, and liked by all.

The Las Vasquez (75%) shows its greater chocolate content  with notes of licorice, burnt caramel, and bass notes, and yet remained creamy and well-balanced. It was the fourth best liked dark chocolate, nonetheless still very fine.

The San Primo Bio (60%) showed quite more sweetness, more lightly flavored and creamy, with notes of straw and milk.

Finally the Single Origin Equador (74%) had some creamy, caramel, and vanilla notes, but was judged as one-dimensional and forgettable by tasters and was surprisingly mild considering the chocolate content.

Because my favorite country of origin for chocolate is Madagascar, I purchased a kilo of Agostoni Single Origin Madagascar (70%). It is also an excellent chocolate with caramel notes and incredible richness and a top-of-the-line chocolate. However, I'm used to much more fruitiness in Madagascar chocolate than was present in Agostoni's Madagascar, and so was a little disappointed.

During the tastings, we also tried Felchler and Guittard samples, neither of which compared with the Agostoni chocolates. My tasters and I were very surprised how flat the Felchler tasted after sampling the Agostoni chocolates. That's a real testament to the superlative quality of the Agostoni product.

I recommend Agostoni chocolates to all chocolatiers.

I contacted the company and they pointed out one error in my review: the Gianduia has no milk in it. Just chocolate, hazelnuts, sugar, lecithin, and vanilla.

No wonder it's so incredible!

Having read your review and checked their website, I have just one question... where can I get them in the Netherlands.

Actually we on The Chocolate Cult, are being sent samples to test and review.  

We'll do that with the same care we take with all products we are sent. In this case we'll make baked goods and/or candies with them and report on the use and variety of the products.

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