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Friday, August 7, 2015
DOMORI; Fine Chocolate Direct from Italy!
My network of traveling friends is growing each year. Being 'stuck' on an Island the past seven years (yes, I can leave, but I am definitely very far from the nearest commercial airport), I have relied on this network in recent times to help lower my shipping costs on the chocolate that I order. And recently, I scored big when my best friend honeymooned in Italy. She and her husband brought back some chocolate from Domori, a very fine Italian chocolate maker, just for me.
I am sure that I have tasted Domori chocolate once or twice before, but it was long before my blogging days, and before I could identify origin and bean type flavours, and cocoa butter content in fine chocolate. So at this time, receiving a line-up of Domori chocolate is a real treat.
Some of the chocolate was a bit melted, given that it traveled to North America during Italy's warm Spring weather, and then to me in our July temperatures. But I simply re-melted and tempered the chocolate that needed it, and tasted it after. Luckily the Javagrey milk chocolate bar was in perfect condition, so I could experience its delicate nature to the fullest. So let's start with a review and tasting notes of Javagrey, followed by the other Domori chocolates that I tasted this week...
Domori D-Fusion Javagrey 45% (Milk Chocolate with Criollo Cocoa and Grey Cow's Milk), 25g
Batch: L4142 (exp. 31/05/2016)
Ingredients: Cane sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, cocoa mass. Emulsifier: Soy lecithin.
Product Information: http://www.domori.com/en/prodotto/9627/GRYCBOGG/javagrey
Tasting Notes: A MUST-TRY!
The Javagrey chocolate is a part of Domori's 'D-Fusion' product line. This is a concept that more and more chocolate makers (predominantly bean-to-bar, craft chocolate makers) are adopting, where flavour is highlighted in chocolate without adding 'artificial flavour' or taking away from the natural origin flavours of the cocoa beans. Immediately I can see that Domori has wanted a naturally smoky milk chocolate bar by using cocoa beans from East Java, which are known to be smoky.
This chocolate was much like Bonnat's Java, although a little less smoky. It's colour was quite unusual, which I believe to be a combination of very high cocoa butter content (cocoa butter is naturally 'butter' colour, so when added in large quantities, it will lighten the colour of the chocolate) and the Criollo bean type used to make the chocolate bar. Criollo beans can often be white in colour (before roasting) and therefore result in a light-coloured chocolate bar (i.e. a 70% dark chocolate bar can look like a milk chocolate bar when Criollo beans are used to make the chocolate).
I found Bonnat's 65% Java milk chocolate bar to be creamier in texture, but then again, Domori's uses 45% cocoa solids, which explains the difference. There is also a very mild smoky flavour, nearly undetectable at first taste. Domori explains that the smoky flavours are 'toned down' by the milk of the 'grey Tirol cows' used to make this milk chocolate. Admittedly I have no idea what the difference is between 'grey cow's milk' and white cow's milk, but it seems to have done something nice for this chocolate bar because it is delectable, delicate and interestingly delicious. What's most unique is that the chocolate does not leave that common mouth-watering effect that sugary milk chocolates leave, which always make you want to eat too much. This chocolate is definitely very low in sugar, much like a very dark chocolate.
Domori IL100% Criollo, 0.88oz (25g)
Batch: L4147 (exp: 30/11/2016)
Ingredients: Cocoa mass.
Product Information: http://www.domori.com/en/prodotto/9523/EZCNQQEQ/100-criollo
Tasting notes: Good comparative 100% chocolate!
This chocolate had very low acidity. It was delicate, and yet bitter. Certainly it was not fruity like a 100% Madagascar chocolate bar might be. If you are looking for bitter cocoa, that is not harsh from acidity, this is it. It also is so mild in origin flavours that it would be a good anchor chocolate for a tasting line-up of 100% chocolate bars (i.e. compare to 100% Ecuador, 100% Madagascar, etc.).
Domori IL100%, 0.88oz (25g)
Batch: L4132 (exp. 31/10/2016)
Ingredients: 100% cocoa mass.
Product Information: http://www.domori.com/en/prodotto/9623/ZENEQLRM/the-100-blend
If you are just as confused as me as to what the differences are between Domori's IL100% chocolate bar versus the IL 100% Criollo chocolate, then I can tell you that Domori lists its IL 100% as one of its 'blend tablets', meaning that cocoa beans from different origins were blended together to create a unique tasting chocolate. This chocolate was more bitter and acidic than the single origin Venezuela Criollo 100% bar.
Domori Cacao Criollo 'Cuor di Criollo' Dark and Milk Chocolate Hearts, 1.76 oz (50g)
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder. Emulsifier: soy lecithin.
Batch: L4293 (exp. 31/10/2016)
Product Information: http://www.domori.com/en/prodotto/9530/JMPSGCGK/cuor-di-criollo
Tasting Notes: Great Gift!
The chocolate hearts - which were adorably cute by the way - had unfortunately been exposed to a lot of heat during their travels. The milk chocolate was not as affected, so I tasted them as is. However, the dark chocolate hearts had been affected in both texture (almost brittle) and taste, so I picked them out of the box and re-melted and tempered them to have a better tasting. I put them into my flower mold and tasted them some time later.
The dark chocolate was distinctly delicate, and very creamy in taste, which was not so much from the addition of cocoa butter, but rather the origin flavour and type of cacao. Based on the straight up creamy chocolate flavour, with no hint of fruit, smoke or other discernible flavours, I suspect the Criollo cacao used to make the chocolate was from Venezuela.
As for the milk chocolate hearts, there was certainly something organic tasting about it, and perhaps a flavour reminiscent of aging butter. Although it is similar to the Javagrey, it is not the same, perhaps not as creamy in texture, and perhaps a little sweeter tasting, with a mild dulce de leche caramel-and-cream taste, and definitely no smoky flavour.
For more information about Domori in Italy, visit the company website: http://www.domori.com/.
The Domori chocolate that I reviewed above can be purchased in the US online at Chocosphere and Amazon, and in the UK at the Chocolate Trading Company and Chocolatiers. Check your local specialty chocolate retailer to see if it is sold in store near you.