Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Richart Around the World of Cocoa (Small)



80g box, in 32 thin wafers
Ingredients: Unknown. Definitely cacao and sugar, milk as an option, probably soy lecithin (“Nutrition Facts” online includes “contains: soy”), possibly vanilla but I'm guessing not.
Sugar content depends on options chosen.

Corporate Info: Richart is a high-end French chocolatier selling mostly confections along with macarons. Richart was founded in 1925, and today its products can be found in its French boutiques, a shop in New York City, and online.

Today's Box: Richart's Around The World of Cocoa (small), a very nice holiday gift from a loving relative who shares my interest in chocolate. In this box are four different chocolates (the company selects from eight options), each presented in a stack of eight thin, square wafers: Sarajiva 37% (with 33% milk, from the “Indian Ocean” region), Sambiraja 70% (Madagascar), Chuabello 82% (Venezuela), and Linkaterra 100% (Peru). For $29.00, this is not an everyday sort of treat, but it's a pretty neat gift for a chocolate lover, including oneself!

Appearance:  
  • Sarajiva 37% is yellow-brown and creamy.  
  • Sambiraja 70% and Chuabello 82% are similar medium browns, with the 70% slightly greyer. 
  • Linkaterra 100% is a deep reddish brown, not as dark as one might think. All are mostly matte with a brushed sort of gloss.
Smell: Let's see... 
  • Sarajiva 37%: Sweet, super mild, and like fresh cream. 
  • Sambiraja 70%: Not strong, but roasted and nutty. 
  • Chuabello 82%: Also not strong, but bitter and charred. 
  • Linkaterra 100%: Sharp and sour.
Taste: 
  • Sarajiva 37%: This is good milk chocolate, rich and creamy and sweet but not saccharine.  
  • Sambiraja 70%: Richart's chocolate is as smooth as advertised, texture-wise, with the flavor here having a bitter edge but not heaviness: this isn't a tannic, fruity red wine chocolate but rather something roasty and bitter but soft.  
  • Chuabello 82%: Wow! This chocolate is deep and has very little sweetness, with a quite small, thinly bitter undercurrent. Smooth but thick, heavy but not punch-in-the-mouth flavorful. Interesting. 
  • Linkaterra 100%: Okay, so this is 100% cacao, which means no sugar or anything else to smooth out or punch up the flavor. Here that means a slow-building, rounded sourness with no edges, and a super-thick but smooth texture. I'm sure I'll finish this variety last, but it's not unenjoyable.

Conclusion: Richart Around the World of Cocoa (Small) is a fun, high-end chocolate tasting experience.

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