How on earth could I leave this Amedei Cru 70% Single Origin from Madagascar at the bottom of my chocolate collection until now? I’ve had it for a good few months and various good, and not so good, chocolate has passed my lips during that time. But I suppose the saying “all good things come to those who wait” is apt here? And after the fantastic Ben Tre bar recently, this year is really starting off in a great way.
Just like the Jamaica and the Amedei Jamaica this bar comes in a wonderful cardboard wrap-around format which is different from the Porcelana and Chuao bars I’ve already reviewed. I’m in two minds, however, whether I prefer the solid, gold bullion format of the last two bars which I find very similar to Amano or this dressing gown type bar? I am leaning towards this one though as you get so much more information to read whilst you nibble.
Just like the Chuao bar, this is also a from a single production area, but with this case the bar is made with Trinitario cacao whose make up is more than 85% Criollo (a similar bar can be found made with Venezuelan cacao) and there’s some definite Criollo characteristics represented here. The aroma is classically acidic with a strong brine edge, but then there are other factors that mitigate that.
The initial snap sounded thin and hollow, just as if it cooled in layers, causing it to create a slate-like form. But, in actual fact, there is no stratification. The structure is tight, with the crystals being as small as I can remember and only included the odd air bubble compared to other artisan bars I’ve reviewed.
Within the mouth, the chocolate seems to explode into small pieces which don’t, initially, lead to a great texture. After a few short seconds a sort of inherent gravity takes over and the individual chocolate pieces combine to form a mass – just as when you’re making pastry when the individual elements are flaky and then form into a dough ball. I do, however, prefer a silky texture from the moment it enters the mouth and I do like it when I don’t have to work on the texture myself and when it just naturally becomes velvety.
In terms of the flavour it’s a great deal milder than the aroma. There’s a slight orange edge which doesn’t dominate proceedings but gently serves to add another dimension. There isn’t any form of a transitional flavour range, instead it offers a constant citrus element right through until the melt has finished. Now, is that impact on the enjoyment level? Well I do like each mouthful to offer something different, but I can also appreciate fine chocolate that just provides one style of flavour but does it well. And that’s what this bar does.
I have difficulty saying this bar is in the top five I’ve tried. It really is an excellent chocolate bar, but just doesn’t offer enough of an all-round package to reach that peek.