The only problem with having a memory like a sieve is that when Marc Demarquette was talking about his range of origin bars the other day I couldn’t remember which one we were both raving about – that one was exclusive to him and a true work of genius. As a result I bought home this Araguani bar that appears to be made with Valrhona couverture (but I could be wrong). Now there’s not a lot of information about the chocolate’s provenance but I do believe its made from a blend of both Criollo and Triniatario beans from what I believe to be Venezuela – which is strange as there’s an Araguani in Brazil, although the Aragueney is the national tree of Venezuela.
Having this bar wrapped in mysticism does nothing for me. I know Marc has plans to revolutionise his bar, but I believe its more the fault of Valrhona not to give clear information. But that being said, it is more of a flavoursome bar which I’ve missed since the Mast Brothers Black Truffle bar. There’s nothing at all light about this bar, it’s very much like a thick, dark winter’s night. But with that there’s not the typical acidity as one might expect, instead there’s more of a clotted cream underlying edge to it with little hints of caramel – its just that there’s no top-note of sweetness. It’s just all broody teenage angst.
Conversely the aroma is very much of HP sauce – spicy, vinegar combined with the inside of new leather shoes – which seems to have a strange sweetness to it. It’s a bi-polar bar of chocolate. One mouthful with have charcteristics of the Michel Cluizel Noir Infini whilst other times its more of a splendid, soft affair. It’s this harshness which does detract from the enjoyment as there’s no clean acidity to lift it just as lemon seems to bring out the flavour in food – it was just a touch to sanguine for my liking.
Of course I can’t love everything Marc does, even if his filled chocolates are the joint finest I’ve tried this year, its just that this bar isn’t to my taste.