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chocolate, cocoa & culinary bliss
testing temptations for the good of humankind
Stainer Cocoa Selection Venezuela Origin 100% 
5th-Jun-2008 02:35 pm
health food is served

Today I'm going to A/B Stainer's two 100% chocolates. It's probably foolish to begin with the Venezuela origin chocolate in the sophisticated black box since it's likely to be more "serious" than the whimsical iguana-decorated 100% Cacao chocolate from Stainer's Gourmet Chocolate Bar line, but one can never really predict how such things will play out on the palate...

Nutritional data: Beyond ingredients of Cocoa Mass and the 50g bar size, this package does not provide nutritional data.

Source: Stainer Chocolates

Presentation: Stainer bars are only 50g and thus they're packaged in smaller than average boxes. The percentage cocoa dark unflavored origin chocolates are in glossy black boxes with the cocoa solid percentage in bright gold lettering standing clearly out from the background. The bean's origin is noted in crimson.

Inside the box you find a chocolate bar sealed in a clear orange plastic pouch. The bar is divided into two rows and four columns to create eight softly domed squares.

This is a medium dark brown bar with some flaking, not much gloss, but happily no bloom.

Scent: This has a strong scent filled with butter and peanut, cigarette smoke, mint, pencil eraser and slight berry. I don't like the ashy smoke or eraser (rubber?) components, but everything else is enticing. I'm particularly intrigued by the strong peanut scent here: B

Tactile: This chocolate feels melty to my fingers. It snaps easily, without flakes.

Sound: Average, slightly soft snap when separated, a much louder, stronger snap when bit.

Taste: Caramel/hard candy is the first flavor and it lingers as the chocolate melts, then a harsh espresso arrives that lingers and is later joined by a hint of baking soda. The final swallow of the first bite is distinctly bitter. Didn't enjoy bite one.

When chewed, this does develop a bit of a cream cheese taste and hint of palatable tang, but no: this is not a taste I would leap to return to: C-

Texture: Fine grit throughout, abrasive against my teeth. This is decidedly below average in texture. Unfortunate. When chewed it is waxy, but you can still feel the distribution of grit. No, not good. D

Aftertaste: Eh, bitterness. I think my taste and texture disappointments might be influencing my lack of appreciation for this chocolate aftertaste, but still: C

Satiety: I don't want more, so probably good: A

Overall: This was not an enjoyable chocolate experience for me. I wouldn't buy another of these bars, though I always encourage others to experience everything for themselves. This might be perfect for someone else. I was mystified that there were so many rich scents in the bar and so few flavors--and no truly good ones--when the chocolate made its way to my mouth. Darn: C-


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