Single estate cacao from Palmira Estate in Venezuela. Though it doesn't say it is Valrhona Cocoa for this bar, the same details provided for this chocolate are the same for Valrhona's Palmira chocolate bar. This must be couverture chocolate from Valrhona.
*The note inside the Demarquette bar cut off after honey and nuts.
The Lake Maracaibo area of Venezuela.
From The Nibble Chocolate Glossary about Porcelana Beans:
Image via Time Magazine.
One of the rarest beans in the world, a genetically pure strain of the Criollo bean from the Andean region of Venezuela. It is named Porcelana for the pale, almost white-colored interior of the beans (although the nibs produce regular-colored cacao). It is believed that Porcelana cocoa was grown in the southwestern area of Venezuela as early as Pre-Colombian times. According to historical sources, it seems that at the time of the Spanish conquest (the early 1500s), this cacao was being grown in the same area where Porcelana grows today.
In colonial times, Porcelana cacao was called Maracaibo, since it was primarily exported from the Venezuelan port of that name. Until the 1920s, Maracaibo cacao was classified as the world's highest-quality cacaos, along with a few Mexican and Columbian strains. Unfortunately, Porcelana cocoa is not very resistant to disease and the Mexican and Colombian cacaos of this genetic quality have died out leaving behind hybrids with inferior organoleptic qualities. The unmistakable toasted almond flavor of the pure Venezuelan variety makes it a prized bean, and this rare bean produces some of the finest (and most expensive) chocolate bars in the world. Because of the limited supply o beans only the finest chocolatiers have access and thus make a Porcelana bar: Amedei, Domori, Pierre Marcolini, and Valrhona.
Flavors will vary by producer, but in addition to
almonds, Porcelana typically yields strawberries, cream, butter,
butterscotch and sometimes bread flavors. The bars tend to be a
reddish-brown in color.
Type: Semisweet, 64%
Bean Varietal: Hybrid Criollo
Ingredients: Not listed, but Valrhona lists it's ingredients as: Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, and soya lecithin.
Sample Size: 75g or 2.6oz
Appearance: Soft brown color smooth, shiny bar, but a little dusty and a little matted from plastic cover.
Snap: Excellent firm snap, crisp snap sound, clean break lines.
Aroma: Mildly smokey, soft, roasted cocoa, a little spicy, tangerines and orange blossoms, honey, and wood.
Taste: Big honey taste right up front, sweet, cereal grains, mild hints of peanuts, soft bitterness, slightly tangy, floral hints, lingering hints of peanuts and wood notes.
Texture: Smooth, soft and creamy once it opens up, medium melt time.
This was very delicate chocolate, but fantastic. Very soft, but distinctive aroma and flavors. Sweet chocolate, but not like a typical semisweet chocolate. Big honey right up front on the taste, and then opened up in to a cereal grain taste. Think Honey-Nut Cheerios. A little tangy, but overall very smooth and creamy.
The aroma was fantastic. So much going on. As soon as I opened it, it was smokey and sweet smelling. Then came a little spiciness and soft roasted cocoa notes. Orange blossom and tangerine aromas were the most surprising. They come and go on this chocolate. It was very apparent when first opened and then little hints of hit came through every now and again while reviewing.
Final Score: 94.8