Saturday, September 7, 2013

Agostoni Conventional Couvertures

Organic Top Row, Conventional Bottom Row
At the same time that Global Organics Ltd. sent us the Organic versions of Agostoni Couvertures they sent along four samples of the conventional products with ingredients raised using the standard farming methods.  I paired these with the organic versions and had the assistance of three others in testing them. Today I will reveal to you all how the conventional fared against the organic varieties of each type of chocolate couverture.

Conventional White or Edelweiss came in smaller discs than the organic variety; about 1/3rd the size as you can see in the photo. It had no scent and was far less sweet, not as buttery, with no vanilla hint. You might thing all this "less" made us dislike it but the group liked this one better than the Organic version because it didn't overwhelm us, it was only what we expect from white chocolate -- the basic creaminess waiting for other flavors to be added.

Agostoni Conventional Couvertures
Conventional Milk Prestige or Chiara has 33% cocoa mass and 36.5% cocoa butter -- all of the conventional versions had a higher cocoa mass than the organics perhaps because the non-organic beans have a little less flavor?  The scent was more vanilla than cocoa and individual pieces barely had any smell to them except in the bag. This also had less chocolate flavor and was slightly sweeter than the organic variety but it melted slower as well.

Conventional Regina had 61% cocoa mass, just 1% more than the organic version did.  In the bag it has a strong scent but individual pieces only gave off a fragrance if we really worked at finding one.  These did not melt quite as fast. They had a very simple flavor -- light sweetness with something generically spicy -- not strong chocolate flavor really though it was also not bitter if that is a worry you have with dark chocolate.

Conventional Vanini sharper, bitter scent was because it is 72% cocoa mass. These made a snap when you took a bite and melting a bit faster than the previous conventional couvertures we tried that day.  The flavor built up as it melted or was chewed in the mouth to a slightly bitter fruit taste at the end but a very steady dark chocolate minus normal bitterness throughout.

Global Organics Ltd offers these conventional couvertures along side their organic cousins and frankly we think they should stick with the organics.  While these conventional varieties were fairly bland making then ideal perhaps for many candy makers, only one, the white chocolate, tasted and felt better to our testers.  Of course if you want a very one-note base chocolate couverture that you can play with for your own creations these are a good foundation to build from. Otherwise go organic for your customers, your chocolates, and better farming practices and farmers' lives.

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