Bonnat makes some incredible and unusual chocolate. I especially love the mold they use that produces 36 little segments in each bar; somehow, it seems as if they’re giving you more.
Porcelana is a very rare white criollo bean that comes from Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. I used to think that was a great pedigree until I recently stumbled on a website that showed them drilling for oil in the middle of the lake. Now, I’m wondering how polluted the area is.
This bean has received a lot of positive press. I got the impression it was quite an elite little number, and I expected an elegant, refined experience. Instead, I was met with an initial taste of tobacco. It quickly faded into a slightly coffee-like flavor. All very well-rounded and delightfully smooth, but I wasn’t keen on eating more. What was it missing? Complexity and depth. I kept tasting it to see if there was something I was not tuning into that would reveal itself to me upon further examination, but I didn’t find it in my first two tastings.
That brings up one of the mysteries of chocolate. Depending on the season, time, what you have eaten, hormone levels, mood, and many other factors, the same chocolate may taste very different from one day to the next. For me, it helps to think of chocolate as if it were music. You might like many different types of music but some days you’re just craving something alternative and other days only Beethoven will do. That doesn’t mean that on the day you’re loving the Eroica you can’t appreciate Regina Spektor, you simply aren’t in the mood for it. So, when it comes to tasting chocolate, it’s a good idea to experiment: try it a couple of times, then wait a month or two and try it again.