Monday, November 8, 2010

Venezuela versus Tanzania Couverture - fruity versus woodsy

As promised, I am back to some proper tastings today.  I am making chocolate products for Christmas and am planning to sell single origin chocolate truffles this year.  I've just received a shipment of Cocao Barry's "Origine rare" line of couverture products and today I am working with the Venezuela 72% (with 41.8 % min. fat) and the Tanzania 75% cacao (with 45.4% min. fat).  The idea behind couverture, for those who don't know, is that it is supposed to have a higher cocao butter content to provide a nice shine to the chocolatier's finished chocolate products and a smooth, creamy flavour.  I love working with couverture as it is always creamier than your average chocolate and although sinful to simply eat handfuls of, it is tasty.

Immediately upon opening the 1 kg packages, the Tanzania has a lovely smell of soft sweet vanilla combined with smokiness and spice. On the other hand, the Venezuela has a terrible smell.  It smells like fruit, including dried apricots and spice and vanilla and Play-doh all mixed into one.  I had high expectations today for the Venezuela, because in most tastings that I've done with other Venezeulan chocolate bars, people always seem to prefer it.  Perhaps the taste will be better than the smell!

The flavour is actually better than the smell.  Sometimes the smell can lead you down the wrong track, so watch that you don't reject a chocolate based on smell alone.  Aromas don't always produce themselves in the taste.  The Venezuela is very bitter, a little creamy but a little gritty on the tongue at the same time.
Instantly when I taste the Tanzania chocolate, I like it better.  It is creamier (well, I guess so  with  45.4% fat!) and has a real strong spicy flavour.  I personally have grown to like bitter chocolate with strong smoky, woodsy flavours.

Upon second tasting of the Venezuela, it now tastes sweeter in comparison to the Tanzania with the initial bitterness practically disappearing, although it is still less smooth and creamy than the Tanzania. That strong dried fruit smell is now coming through in the flavour, along with vanilla. 

Going back to the Tanzania for a final tasting, its spicy flavour is even stronger and its bitterness more apparent.

Although it may seem a bit confusing above, I find it is good to go back and forth among two chocolates in order to really taste the flavours of each.  Just tasting each chocolate once, and then not returning to them again and again within the same tasting session can cause missed opportunities to taste something new that you didn't taste the first time. It enables a true comparison. Just remember to drink some warm water between each chocolate, and do not take a long break between each type or you will lose your basis for comparison.

I have gone back and forth between these two origin chocolates several times now and realize that I personally prefer the Tanzania.  However, I could see how others, who prefer a sweeter (fruitier) flavour, might choose the Venezuelan.

I will put a picture up of my finished tasting squares and truffles in the coming weeks, in case anyone is interested.  I am curious to see how these flavours translate when cream is added to each.

Here are the stats on these two chocolates:
Cacao Barry Dark Chocolate Couverture Tanzanie Origine rare, 75% cacao, 1 kg package (2.2 lbs)
Ingredients: Unsweetened chocolate (origin Tanzania), sugar, cocoa butter, natural vanilla.  May contain milk. "...a subtle mixture of Forastero and Criollo" beans. (quoted from Cacao Barry package)
Barry Callebaut Manufacturing France

Cacao Barry Dark Chocolate Couverture Venezuela Origine rare, 72%, 1 kg package (2.2 lbs)
Ingredients: Cocoa mass (origin Venezuela), sugar, cocoa butter, natural vanilla flavour.  May contain milk. A blend of "...highly aromatic Criollo with Trinitario from the famous Venezuelan regions of Carenero Superior and Rio Caribe." (quoted from Cacao Barry package)
Barry Callebaut Manufacturing France


  1. May i ask where you bought the Tanzanie from? I haven't been able to find it in australia.

    1. Hi! I bought it from Signature Fine Foods in Toronto, Canada. You may want to look at food suppliers to the baking industry somewhere near you. Also, check the - they may have it, but it is Canadian as well.

  2. Subject: partnership proposal - shape and form of advertising for your company (External relationship - Cooperation)

    I'm graphic designer
    I like to offer my graphic services
    +421 915 225 083
    Skype name: creativeperson00

    Have nice day

  3. If love had a name, it would not have been more beautiful than love, love name itself is also lovely and the post you have written is more lovely than that you wrote a very good post.
    call girl aerocity
    Female Escort Gurugram

    Escorts Servcie in Phase 3
    Golf Course Road Escorts

  4. Today, when I saw your article, I felt that we are in a different world. It seems like this is a dream, I love articles like this, I also feel that I should do it too but I can't do it 'Your article is really amazing.
    Call Girl Manesar
    Call Girls Noida City Center
    Call Girls Noida
    Model Escorts Service Hyderabad
    Escorts Service Golf Cource Road
    Escorts Service Sector 13
    Sushant lok Call Girls
    Call Girls Ghata Village

  5. Your article is very good and very different. Your post will be very useful for me because I like these articles very much, I am thankful that I found this post.
    Rent Call Girls In Gurugram
    Rent Escorts Service
    Call Girls Golf Course Road
    Escorts Service Aerocity
    Call Girls Huda City Center
    Call Girls Sector 29
    call Girls M.G. Road
    Manesar Escorts Service

  6. The comment is good, there are some people in the world who do something. But the one who walks with everyone is a good person, really your post is very good and very unique thanx
    Call Girls Noida Sector 13
    Noida Escorts Service
    Call Girls Noida City Center
    Gurgaon Escorts Service
    Delhi Airport Escorts Service
    Delhi Escorts Service
    Gurugram Call Girls Photos
    Call Girls Sector 14