There aren’t many chocolate makers left in the world that actually make chocolate straight from the bean, and Francois Pralus is one of them. Not only that but he was awarded the title of the best Chocolatier in Paris by the Gaultmillau guide in 2009.
The heritage, however, goes back to 1920 and the birth of Auguste Pralus. In 1955 he recieved the title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France and then became the President of the Union of Confectioners, a Member of the Culinary Academy of France, Chevalier of the Arts and SCence and eventually achieved the Knight of the Order of National Merit. The Pralus family aren’t ordinary Chocolatiers.
Today Francois Pralus has taken on the mantal and now makes chocolate direct from South American and Indonesian cocoa beans and turns them into nearly 25 tons of Pralus chocolate.
So what do they sell? Well, mainly dark chocolate of the 75% variety. But here’s a list of Pralus Chocolate that I’ve found to buy online. I’ve ordered some of it to review, but in the mean time here’s the list:
Pralus Caracas – Venezuala, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This one is from the Trinitario cocoa which the only bean used in this part of Venezuala. From what I can gather, this bar has hints of currant and cinnamon. I certainly want to try this one.
Pralus Colombie – Colombia, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
Again this one is made from Trinitario cocoa from Colombia. I’ve been told that one has a slight coffee and nut flavour.
Cuba, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
Having been to Cuba I just loved the country and the people. I’ve never seen Cuban chocolate before and it would be very interesting to try this bar – not least as its supposed to have slight peppery and spicy notes to it.
Djakarta, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This bar is from Indonesia and my sources state that there’s a slight Lapsang Souchong tea flavour as there’s a degree of wood smoke taste to it as well.
Organic Equateur, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This bar is now organic and has a definite earthy taste with what’s been described as notes of pipe tobacco and has a lingering caramel-type after taste. If this is anything like the Amatller Ecuador Single Origin 85% Dark Chocolate Bar then it should be fantastic!
Fortissima, 80% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This bar uses a blend of Criollo and Trinitario cocoa from Ecuador and, understandably, has a strong bitter flavour with a slight acidic tone to it.
Organic Ghana, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
I’ve tried the Amatller Ghana Single Origin 85% Dark Chocolate Bar which was a superb chocolate bar and am looking forward to trying the Pralus Ghanian version which is supposed to be creamy, mild with subtle fruit flavours. I’m certainly going to have to put this one on my list of chocolate to try this year.
Indonesie, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
From Indonesia, this bar exclusively uses the Criolla cocoa bean and has hints of orange peal and a slight acidic tone to it.
Organic Le 100%, single origin, dark chocolate bar
Obviously this isn’t for the meek or mild, its a 100% cocoa content chocolate bar. I’m not going to pass judgement on this as I didn’t really like 99% Noir Infini.
Melissa, 45% cocoa, single origin, Milk chocolate bar
So far this is the only Pralus milk chocolate bar I’ve come accross, although its got a fair bit more cocoa content than the average milk chocolate bar so expect a bit more character from it.
Papouasie, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This bar only uses the Trinitario bean which has been grown in Papa New Guinea and has got distinct notes of Rhubarb. This has to be one of the Pralus dark chocolate bars that I’m really looking forward to trying.
Sao Tome, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This uses the Forastero cocoa bean grown in the Atlantic island of Sao Tome and has a very robust flavour. It’s been suggested that it has hints of lime and transcends into flavours of smokey wood and liquorice. Now this sounds like a truely wonderful chocolate bar!
Venezuela, 75% cocoa, single origin, dark chocolate bar
This is another from Venezuela and apparantly has contradictory flavours such: an acidous one that holds the top notes, whilst a smoky, earthy one that exists at the bottom of the range.