Saturday, August 23, 2014

Michel Cluizel Single Origin Big Bars

In 2013 on the first of September, the good folks at Michel Cluizel introduced a new product -- their Chocolat de Plantation Mokaya. Organic, single origin allows the consumer to taste the impact farming methods and environmental conditions have on chocolate.  To give you all some time get your own bar to help mark this anniversary in September, we're going to look at both the Chocolat de Plantation Los Ancones and the Chocolat de Plantation Mokaya bars.  I shared these bars with a group of four people so my report will be a consolidation of what we all thought.

Both bars look the same, not unexpected given there is only a difference of 1% cacao in them.  The real difference in any flavor or texture will come from the beans themselves.  As I hope you can see in this photo of the top of the bars side by side, they are divided into 15 little sections.  The top two-thirds of the bars are etched with the company brand and then little symbolic cocoa pods appear in each section of the the bottom two-thirds of the bar.

We'll start with the anniversary bar, Chocolat de Plantation Mokaya, because it is 66% cacao grown in Mexico.  The dark brown paper box wrapper is lined in red and has an image of Mexico on the front; the inner foil wrapper is silver.  One of my testers breaks the bars into fifths, each of three sections, and tells me that it breaks very easily along the etched lines that you can see in the photo. This bar has a very dark, almost roasted scent to it.  A bite makes a soft snap and I'm surprised at how creamy this bar immediately tastes.  It melts very, very slowly in my mouth, possible because it does not use an emulsifier of any type.  As I chew the bitterness is more intense and a fruity aftertaste develops.  Letting a piece melt in my mouth evens out the complexity of the bar so I recommend chewing this one.

Now to turn to the Chocolat de Plantation Los Ancones with 67% cacao grown in Saint-Domingue in the Caribbean.  The dark brown paper wrapper is lined in a lime green color and has an image of the area of Saint-Dominque on the front; the inner wrapper is also silver foil so once you unwrap the bars look the same.  Compared to the previous bar this is darker in fragrance but it doesn't have a roasted scent.  This, too, makes a soft snap when I take a bite and it melts very slowly again.  The taste here is more caramel like when you let it melt in your mouth, more intense cocoa flavor when you chew it. The testers all liked both bars but this was the favorite of the two for the stronger and slightly less bitter cocoa flavor even though it has more cacao content.

That's our first feature from Michel Cluizel and we were pleased by both bars. Furthermore these bars are each made with the simplest ingredients and no emulsifier you find even in the best chocolate -- cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, and Bordon vanilla -- earning them Sacrament status. These are two of the seven Chocolate de Plantation bars currently offered by the company. If you've tried any of the others, please let us know.  To Michel Cluizel -- great job!

6 comments:

elizabeth said...

These sound so good! I really like the packaging and look of the bars, too.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

The packaging looks sophisticated, doesn't it?

Thanks for reading and commenting, Elizabeth.

Gina Brown said...

those bars look neat!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

We'll have another Michel Cluizel product to reveal in the future so I hope you read about that one, too, Gina. Thanks for commenting.

Eiagra Oldrich said...

Mmm, chocolate...

TammyJo Eckhart said...

You need to keep reading The Chocolate Cult then, Eiagra Oldrich, if you love it.