Although I’ve gotten over the loss of USA to Belgium this week and come to accept Klinsmann’s vision that this will be a long journey to raise the state of US soccer, I’m still feeling a void – which team do I back now? The only decent thing to do, for now, is to root for our World Cup 2014 hosts – Brazil. So to get psyched up for the Brazil – Colombia match, I’m tasting some single-origin Brazil dark chocolate. Pralus Bresil Dark Chocolate 75% is one of several organic dark chocolates made by the French chocolatier Francois Pralus. I’m a fan of his work – especially his Chuao bar and perhaps the only edible 100% cacao bar on the market – the nutty, unctuous Pralus Le 100%. For the Pralus Bresil 75%, he takes single-origin beans from Brazil and works them into beautiful chocolate in Southern France. Here are my impressions.
WHAT: Pralus Bresil Dark Chocolate. 75% Cacao. 100 g (3.5 oz). Ingredients: Cacao, Pure cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, GMO–free for soy lecithin. Where to buy.
WHEN: July 4, 2014
OVERALL RATING: 89.
AROMA: Red fruit, strawberry, orange, lime, brown sugar.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Watermelon, lime, red fruit.
MIDDLE TASTE: The chocolate quickly but briefly goes flat before unfolding into nuts, bourbon, cafe-con-leche.
FINISH: Caramel, followed by shallow waves of mushrooms, light coffee and nuts with a dim background of citrus fruit.
TEXTURE: Very smooth, yielding, melts uniformly. The thick bar is a bit chewy in a satisfying way.
LAST BITE: This chocolate bar uses Forestero beans from Brazil. Forestero is known as a relatively simple bulk cacao bean, but like people, such generalizations based upon genetics are not fair and certainly not always accurate. While not a massively complex bar, this chocolate has much more complexity than the average Forestero chocolate – especially some I’ve tried coming out of Ghana or Congo. When I opened he bar, I expected the often flat cashew aroma typical of Forestero beans, but my nose was hit with more lively red fruit and citrus. I was also impressed by the way the bar was not monochromatic, but moved around a spectrum of fruit, and nuts never reaching bitterness. Putting Pralus Chuao aside, this is my favorite Pralus bar so far. Nice Work! After this tasting, I’m feeling inspired for Brazil. If you’re also feeling inspired by single-origin Brazil dark chocolate, you can also check out Zotter Labooko Brazil dark chocolate 70%.
Update: since I had written this post, Brazil beat Colombia 2-1 in the quarter finals and lost to Germany in the semi-final round (enough said). They were finally defeated by Netherlands 3-0 in a match that decided the third-place title.
Notes: 1) World Cup Brazil is a trademark of FIFA. The author has no connection with FIFA. 2) I paid for this chocolate myself.