This is embarrassing. I almost finished the whole bar of Pralus’ excellent chocolate before telling you about it. The danger in that is I won’t have a recent taste experience to share. Luckily, I caught myself before devouring the last third.
François Pralus is a legend in the chocolate world. As he says, “I make everything myself instead of buying ready made ingredients from specialized manufacturers.” This is a man with a mission. He recently opened his own plantation in Madagascar where he grows beans he hand selects from all over the world. This Caracas bar is a Trinitario variety. Trinitario beans are a hybrid between the awe-inspiring Criollo and the common Forastero (the one used for almost 90% of the world’s cocoa).
Using a unique method to get an idea of the flavors in each bean, François concocts a sort of tea with the cacao in water, sweetens it lightly and lets it settle. Tasting this tea gives him a precise idea of the flavors before starting production.
In this case, the flavors are incredibly aromatic, slightly fruity, fresh, and earthy (but not tasting of soil). Caracas is at once sophisticated, subtle, and complex. Unlike many chocolates on the market today that offer creaminess above flavor, this has just the right amount of cocoa butter to produce a sublime texture without being unctuous.
Beautifully tempered, scored into bite-sized squares with one larger logo section, and remarkably easy to eat at 75% intensity, this is a great chocolate experience.
Now that you’re tempted, you might like to read my 2008 review of Pralus’ Pyramide selection of ten bars: https://chocolateratings.wordpress.com/2008/08/12/pralus-pyramide-des-10-saveurs-45-and-75/