Saturday, March 24, 2012

Michel Cluizel Los Anconés (organic; 67% cacao)

70g (2.46oz) bar
Ingredients: Organic cocoa, o. cane sugar, o. cocoa butter, o. Bourbon vanilla pod
13g sugar/40g serving (32.5% by wt.)

Today's 67% cacao bar comes from Michel Cluizel's line of chocolate from individual plantations, in this case Los Anconés on the Carribean island of Hispaniola (the island shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti). I can't remember when I bought this bar, but unlike the one pictured on the website, mine contains only organic ingredients. I would guess that a current Los Anconés bar would taste similar, though I'm not certain. The box explains that the chocolate has been “lengthily worked,” which I imagine means a super-creamy texture.

Corporate Info: (copied from 5/19/11) I've seen Michel Cluizel's black boxes at all the fancy shops, and I've bought the confections. When I googled the brand I found pages and pages of commercial sites, reviews, and news bytes, though nothing especially edifying. I'll just tell you what the Cluizel site says: Michel Cluizel is a French brand (there's even a museum/experience in Normandy) that started in 1948 and opened a U.S. subsidiary in 2004. It's not chocolate you can feel socially responsible about, but the product quality seems to be well respected.

Appearance: This bar has a totally different imprint than the last Cluizel product I reviewed, but it's still beautifully and sharply molded. The chocolate is attractive too: smooth, slightly glossy, slightly reddish brown.

Smell: Nice, rounded dried fruit. Interesting but not pungent or intense, with nothing standing out.

Taste: Texture is crunchy slowly melting into super smooth; I buy that “lengthily worked” claim. Flavor is very friendly: Not too sweet, not at all sour, very little bitterness or tannins. Not obviously fruity, but there is that touch of pleasant, caramelized brightness, maybe like golden raisins. The box says “liquorice wood, then red berries and green olives.” I can see the licorice—but yes, the straight root, like you might have in tea, just that super-subtle sweetness. If you're not looking for it, you won't taste it at all. Red berries? Okay, sure, but this isn't a fresh, fruity tasting chocolate, so that's also subtle. I'm not getting green olives.

Conclusion: Michel Cluizel Los Anconés is super smooth, subtle, pleasant, and satisfying.

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