Valrhona Palmira 64%

I thought I’d start with my favorite chocolate:  Valrhona’s Palmira, a standout in the field of plain bars.  They use the Criollo bean (a fairly rare variety) and it tastes different from anything else I have ever sampled. This is deeply flavored chocolate, but it isn’t bitter.  The complex tastes hit you as the chocolate melts in your mouth.  Eating a piece of Palmira, with its luscious, smooth texture is truly transporting.

You can still buy bars from the 2005 harvest.  Normally, I find chocolate does not age well, but these bars have stood the test of time.  I liked the ’05 better than the ’06, but only by a slim margin.  Yesterday, I received the 2007 vintage bar from chocosphere.com (one of my favorite on line sellers) and found it sublime.

Many high cocoa content bars have a dry texture, but Palmira is smooth.  They add cocoa butter and that certainly enhances the texture, but the depth of flavor comes directly from the Venezuelan criollo bean.   

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