The Chocolate Life

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This year I tasted a lot of good chocolate. But which one is the most gorgeous?

Idilio, Maranon Fortunato No 4, Rio Napo, Beschle 88%, Original Beans new and organic certified bars (yes, all those are made by Felchlin!), Danta, Amano Morobe, El Ceibo Heritage Limited Edition, La Maison du Chocolat's Grenada, Jean Paul Hévin's Piaroa, Potomac Upala 70%, Oialla by Bojesen, Harvest 2011 of Valrhona's Ampamakia and many more (my photos page 1 till Blanxart on page 5).

If I had to choose...based on taste only...this would be my top 3:

1. Idilio No 2, 4 and 12
2. Danta Las Acacias 70% and Chuao 70%
3. Amano Morobe

But my preferences change all the time...and new bars are on their way! I already ordered Dandelion and Fresco.

I'm curious about your favourites and what you suggest I have to taste in 2012.

Thanks for letting me know and a happy new choco year!

Chocolove Vera

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Made a test batch from some beans out of papua that aren't commercially available, that was amazing.  Best I'd ever tasted.

Hi Sebastian, sounds great! I dont mind getting a sample ;-)

A chocolate THAT good and you think there are still leftovers to sample??  HA! 

8-)

Hi Vera,

best chocolate bars, this is quite difficult because the time, meaning and mood are important to taste. This is like listen to music: in the morning I like Baroque & The Classical period music (such as Bach, Mozart...), in the afternoon I like more the Classical era/Romantic transition (such as Schubert, Beethoven...) and the evening Classical Romantics may do good to me (such as Schumann, List, Chopin...).

So as you see Vera this on mood and time and of course there is taste, if I taste dark, milk or even white chocolate thise is a different sensation and approach of each and may lead us far form your demand of what is the best chocolate you tasted this year?

I can you just say my Bach, Mozart was Felchlins Centenario Crudo 70%, Pacari Raw 70%.

My Schubert, Beethoven was: Grenada Chocolate Company 71%, Original Beans Cru Virunga.

My Schumann, List, Chopin was: Tobago Estate 70%, Esmeralda milk-Fleur de Sel 42% OB, Akesson's Wild Pepper and more of this...

It was my pleasure to aswer your on this way Vera ;-)
Chocolate is like music Vera, some you may not like it at the start but after a while you can appreciate it more...
Good idea for a thread! Well my access to new and exciting chocolate brands is a bit limited living in Australia but here are my highlights from 2011, which was quite an exciting year in chocolate for me. I really enjoyed Pralus study in Venezuelan chocolates 'Les Crus d'Excellence' and Valrhonas El Pedregal. It was interesting to see the difference in the Porcelanas. I really loved teh strenght in the Valrhona offering, sometimes i find there chocolate a little muted. I also really enjoyed the Elderflower and dark milk chocolate from Coppeneur, a really amazing combination I thought. I also made some chocolate from the Philippines which had the most fantastic golden syrup flavour note, like Sebastian's these are not commercially available. Also made an extremely complex chocolate from, again non commercially available Samonan beans..... now I know what is ment by 'strawberries and cream' flavour note in chocolate.....amazing!

I also got to visit a cacao plantation for the first time which was the most incredible experience, i made chocolate from the bean while i was there and tasted the fresh pods of the same bean. I was surprised to be able to taste the same flavour notes in the fresh bean and the finished chocolate, incredible.

2011 was a very good chocolate year!

Hi Geert and Tom, Thank you so much for sharing. I love both your stories. Chocolove, Vera

Thanks for including the Philippines in your 2011 best chocolate you have tasted.  The confidence youve given us is PRICELESS!

No worries Jun, just telling it how it is, i'll send those bars soon, it is still scorching down here...too hot to send yet.

Hi Vera and everyone,

 I agree with Geert that it's not really possible to talk about "best" so I prefer to only talk about "favorite" instead. Here are some of my favorites from 2011:

Company Name Percent Class Rating Overall Rating
Fresco 212 Dominican Republic 72 9.7 9.7
Fresco 210 Jamaica 70 9.5 9.5
Mast Brothers Brooklyn Blend 2010 74 9.4 9.4
Rogue Rio Caribe 2011 70 9.3 9.3
Pralus Vanuatu 75 9.2 9.2
Christophe Morel Fortunato no.4 2011 68 10 9.1
Duffy's Corazon del Ecuador 72 9.1 9
Friis Holm Johe 2011 70 9.1 9
Mast Brothers Chuao 81% 81 10 8
Vosges Peppermint Candy Cane 2010 62 10 8
Moonstruck Fortunato no.4, 2010 68 9.2 8
Askinosie Tenende 2010 72 9 8
Askinosie Cortes 2010 70 8 8
Duffy's Honduras Indio Rojo 72 8 8
Fresco 213 Dominican Republic 72 8 8
Mast Brothers Chuao 76% 76 8 8
Madecasse 80% 80 9.5 7

If I had to choose my favorite companies of 2011 they would be Fresco and Rogue.  I'd like to have more Christophe Morel and Duffy's, but they are hard for me to get.  Askinosie is one of the most consistently enjoyable companies for me too.  Mast Brothers also has 3 bars on this list.

See the attachment for a list of the 101 bars that I reviewed in 2011.   I taste them all, so there were some that I didn't enjoy very much (to put it politely).

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