Saturday, August 24, 2013

Agostoni Organic Couvertures

Agostoni has been making chocolates since 1946, right after WWII, and is a family owned company in Italy.  Their North American distributor, Global Organics Ltd. sent us eight samples of the couvertures they offer and can make for any candy or chocolate company.  Four of these were made in the conventional manner, meaning the standard way the trees are farmed and the ingredients grown, while four others were certified organic. Your Chocolate Priestess and three volunteers tested all eight samples, pairing up the variety along organic and conventional lines. Today I'll reveal how the organic versions fared in our sampling.

3 Conventional = 1 Organic White Agostoni
Organic White or Monte Bianco had a light scent of vanilla but a strong cocoa butter fragrance.  The discs were huge compared to all of the other samples and had the image of a cocoa pod etched on the top that I couldn't get a good enough photograph of, Sisters and Brothers. As the piece melted in our mouths it released an almost maple-like sweetness with an intense aftertaste of vanilla.  The texture was very creamy.  Over all it was a bit overwhelming in the sweetness and creaminess and we found that as a group we preferred the conventional discs.
4 Agostoni Organic Couvertures

Organic Milk or Finissimo has 32% cocoa mass and 33.5% cocoa butter making this a darker milk chocolate than Americans might be used to but right in line for Italian chocolates. Alone the discs had a light cocoa scent but a strong chocolate flavor and a creamy texture with almost an olive like essence in both taste and feel. It melted quickly in the mouth and had a light sweet flavor at the end.  The changing flavor tones were a feature of every organic couverture from Agostoni that we tried.

Organic San Primo is made of 60% cocoa mass.  It had a strong cocoa scent both in individual disc and in the bag that we settled on as a semi-sweet fragrance.  It was slow melting, has smooth taste until there was a kick of bitterness in the back of the mouth/top of throat.  As we chewed or let it melt further there developed a slight sweetness very similar to fruit two of us believed.

Organics Top Row, Conventional Bottom Row
Organic Tremezzo has 70% cocoa mass which gave it a stronger scent compared to the previous variety of couverture.  This made a sharp snap too when bitten into.  The flavor was less creamy followed by a sudden burst of sweetness turning slightly bitter.  I sensed a floral essence that turned into fruity aftertaste.  The result was a more smooth dark chocolate than we expected and it was very pleasing to everyone.

For creating complex taste experiences for couverture using organic ingredients and maintaining a family business, Agostoni is certainly worthy of Sacrament Status.  While they sell in large qualities and are therefore suited best for businesses or large candy making or baking projects, they are an excellent base couverture and you should check them out, Sisters and Brothers.  Contact Global Organics Ltd if you are interested in learning more and tell them that you found them on The Chocolate Cult.

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