Monday, March 30, 2009

Bar of the Week: Michel Cluizel Grand Noir 85%

Region: Blend

Cocoa Content: 85%

What makes an excellent bar of chocolate? This week's featured bar is a perfect object lesson. One should look for (among other things):

1. A short ingredients list: Cocoa solids, cocoa butter, cane sugar, and real vanilla.

2. Attention to detail. From bean harvest to roasting to conching to tempering, exceptional chocolate makers know precisely which techniques and methods can bring a cacao bean to its full potential. Artisan chocolate making is not a hobby, it is an obsession.

Michel Cluizel is, as it were, obsessed. He has become world-renowned for excellent temper, moulding, and mouth feel. When you unwrap this bar, you will see why. The surface is smooth and shiny, and the bar is a beautiful deep brown. It breaks cleanly and gives a strong snap, an unmistakable sign of high cocoa-content, well-tempered chocolate. Despite it's high percentage, this bar is remarkably smooth and creamy, melting beautifully on the tongue.

We'll be sampling the bar all day Saturday, so please stop in and try the Cluizel 85% blend. If you've never experienced a high-percentage dark chocolate, this is an ideal place to start!

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