Chocolat Chapon Venezuela Chuao 75% 93.5/100

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Formerly the exclusive purchasing right of Amedei, Chuao has been open to other bean to bar producers for a while now. While Domori’s Chuao is grown at Hacienda San Jose, this bar is from the Chuao growing region on the northern coast of Venezeula, part of the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. Chuao these days is best described as both a variety and a village with some pods having left the village to be produced elsewhere in Venezuela. This cacao comes with a reputation for having won a glutton of awards and so bar makers run a risk with these beans of not living up to their reputation. After sourcing the beans Patrice Chapon begins the process of roasting and preparing the beans at his chocolate workshop, east of Paris in Chelles, before turning them into one of his chocolate bars. Continue reading

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Chocolat Chapon Venezuela Porcelana 73% 90.5/100

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Porcelana or white criollo (different from white nacional) grows south west of Lake Maracaibo in the Venezuelan region of Zulia and is considered to be one of the best varieties of cacao. Porcelana beans grow white rather than the purple and brown hues we traditionally associate with cacao beans due to the absence of the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple colour. This absence of anthocyanin is responsible for the lack of bitterness in fine white criollo chocolate, which makes it highly desirable in terms of flavour. This lack of anthocyanin and Porcelana’s ancient heritage come at a cost however, with ancient white criollo strains being susceptible to pests and disease, thankfully though Venezuela has never shyed away from growing vulnerable, low yielding, but flavourful cacao strains. With less than a 1000kg of this Porcelana produced every year it makes every Porcelana bar made a rarity. After sourcing the beans Patrice Chapon begins the process of roasting and preparing the beans at his chocolate workshop, east of Paris in Chelles, before turning them into one of his chocolate bars. Continue reading

Chocolat Chapon Venezuela Macuare Guasare 72% 92/100

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West of Puerto Cabello and east of Maracaibo, Macuare sits on the northern Venezuelan coast by the Parque Nacional Juan Crisotomo Falcon, not far from where Porcelana can be found. Guasare on the other hand sits in the far north west of Venezuela, west of Lake Maracaibo where it grows what’s considered to be the ‘father of all criollos’, although they also grow trinitario there now as well. This bar is made from a blend of these two varieties of rare old white criollos. After sourcing the beans Patrice Chapon begins the process of roasting and preparing the beans at his chocolate workshop, east of Paris in Chelles, before turning them into one of his chocolate bars. Continue reading

Pierre Marcolini Venezuela Hacienda Chuao 78% 89/100

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This bar is made using cocoa beans from Hacienda Chuao in Chuao village on the northern coast of the Aragua region in Venezuela. One of the most famous villages in cocoa due to the isolated growth of ancient criollo bean varieties. Once harvested these beans are processed by Pierre Marcolini in Belgium before becoming one of their Single Origin chocolate bars. Continue reading

Dormouse Chocolates Venezuela Trincheras 70% 91.5/100

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Las Trincheras is a cacao growing town, down the inland road from Puerto Cabello situated in the high altitude rainforest hills of the northern Venezuelan coast. Once harvested they’re shipped to the Old Grenada Studios in Manchester where Isobel and Karen turn them into one of their single origin chocolate bars.

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Manufaktura Czekolady Venezuela Criollo Porcelana 70% 90/100

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Porcelana or white criollo (different from white nacional) grows south west of Lake Maracaibo in the Venezuelan region of Zulia and is considered to be one of the best varieties of cacao. Porcelana beans grow white rather than the purple and brown hues we traditionally associate with cacao beans due to the absence of the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple colour. This absence of anthocyanin is responsible for the lack of bitterness in fine white criollo chocolate, which makes it highly desirable in terms of flavour. This lack of anthocyanin and Porcelana’s ancient heritage come at a cost however, with ancient white criollo strains being susceptible to pests and disease, thankfully though Venezuela has never shyed away from growing vulnerable, low yielding, but flavourful cacao strains. With less than a 1000kg of this Porcelana produced every year it makes every Porcelana bar made a rarity. Once harvested the beans are shipped to Warsaw where Christopher Stypułkowski and Thomas Sienkiewicz turn them into one of Manufaktura’s chocolate bars. Continue reading

Rozsavolgyi Csokolade Venezuela Chuao 73% 91.5/100

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Formerly the exclusive purchasing right of Amedei, Chuao has been open to other bean to bar producers for a while now. While Domori’s Chuao is grown at Hacienda San Jose, this bar is from the Chuao growing region on the northern coast of Venezeula, part of the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier. Chuao these days is best described as both a variety and a village with some pods having left the village to be produced elsewhere in Venezuela. This cacao comes with a reputation for having won a glutton of awards and so bar makers run a risk with these beans of not living up to their reputation. This particular Chuao is from Chuao Village and comes with a serial number provided by La Empresa Campesina de Chuao. Once shipped these beans arrive in Budapest, Hungary at Rozsavolgyi Csokolade’s workshop where husband and wife team Zsolt Szabad and Katalin Csiszar help to turn them into one of their intricate tile moulded chocolate bars.   Continue reading