So far this year I've been lucky enough (thank you Santa) to have tasted and enjoyed two bars from Valrhona, including Gran Couva and El Pedregal both delicious but with totally different flavours and characteristics even though they have the same cocoa content, 64%. The third and final bar is from Madagascar, an estate grown dark chocolate. Madagascar, an island situated in the Indian Ocean, produces fine quality cocoa beans but only in very small amounts, maybe less than 0.5 per cent of world production. The Ampamakia Plantation, lies in the heart of the Sambirano river valley, a fertile and lush area where Trinitario and Criollo cocoa beans have been cultivated for more than 100 years.
The actual fruitiness takes a moment or to come through as the chocolate melts. There is a real 'zest' and delightful 'tang' to this chocolate especially in comparison to the El Pedregal.
A really well presented bar that scores a 9 from the Essex judge! Out of the three bars I tasted this is possibly my favourite. Frustratingly, I now have to wait until Christmas for my next tasting of Valrhona ;(. This bar (75g) is priced at £4.75 and can be purchased from The Chocolate Trading Company.