Chocolate (rec.food.chocolate) all topics related to eating and making chocolate such as cooking techniques, recipes, history, folklore & source recommendations.

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  #1 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 13-12-2004, 05:08 PM
DPM
 
Posts: n/a
Default Guittard Sur del Lago

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?
--
Regards,
Dean Macinskas

Email address is a spam sink - please reply to group.
---
"There are three principal ways to lose money: wine, women, and engineers.
While the first two are more pleasant, the third is by far the more
certain."
- Baron Rothschild




  #2 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 01:50 AM
Geoffrey Bard
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Guittard's couverture chocolate is excellent in my opinion. My favorite
bean-to-bar chocolatiers are Domori and Pralus, so as you can tell my
chocolate standards are not low at all. In general I find our American
chocolate lousy, but there are exceptions, Guittard being the most noteable.

For a sweeter (61%) dark chocolate, try Guittard's Lever du Soleil - it has
no overpowering flavor notes, and is quite excellent. Guittard's Coucher du
Soleil is an excellent 72%. These are sold as couverture, though you can
get them in 1 Kg bags of discs (not chips, but broader) from Chocosphere,
who repackages the larger factory packages. Of course, health food stores
sell the Guittard Bittersweet, which Alex Rast rightly raves about. Eat
enough Guittard couverture and you'll be able to impress your friends when
eating chocolate candy, identifying the brand and formula of couverture
chocolate used in the coating.

It's a shame the Guittard couverture isn't sold as bars, perhaps minus the
soy lecithin for even better taste. As bars they would definitely join the
ranks of Amedei, Venchi, Domori, Pralus, Chocovic, etc. in popularity.

Geoff

"DPM" wrote in message news0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected]
I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?
--
Regards,
Dean Macinskas




  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 01:50 AM
Geoffrey Bard
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Guittard's couverture chocolate is excellent in my opinion. My favorite
bean-to-bar chocolatiers are Domori and Pralus, so as you can tell my
chocolate standards are not low at all. In general I find our American
chocolate lousy, but there are exceptions, Guittard being the most noteable.

For a sweeter (61%) dark chocolate, try Guittard's Lever du Soleil - it has
no overpowering flavor notes, and is quite excellent. Guittard's Coucher du
Soleil is an excellent 72%. These are sold as couverture, though you can
get them in 1 Kg bags of discs (not chips, but broader) from Chocosphere,
who repackages the larger factory packages. Of course, health food stores
sell the Guittard Bittersweet, which Alex Rast rightly raves about. Eat
enough Guittard couverture and you'll be able to impress your friends when
eating chocolate candy, identifying the brand and formula of couverture
chocolate used in the coating.

It's a shame the Guittard couverture isn't sold as bars, perhaps minus the
soy lecithin for even better taste. As bars they would definitely join the
ranks of Amedei, Venchi, Domori, Pralus, Chocovic, etc. in popularity.

Geoff

"DPM" wrote in message news0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected]
I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?
--
Regards,
Dean Macinskas




  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 07:26 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default

at Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:08:51 GMT in D0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected],
(DPM) wrote :

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?


Each of the varietals is different, distinctive, and generally IMHO sets
the reference standard for its varietal.

The Colombian is unbelievable - an exploration of subtle, floral taste in a
chocolate, one of the great chocolates in the world and a perfect chocolate
to pair with rosewater. This is the chocolate to buy for Valentine's Day -
it's so seductive, anyone tasting it will swoon.

Ecuador Nacional is powerful and bold. It's got all the Arriba signatures -
blackberry, tobacco, woody, with that bitter hint characteristic of Arriba.
It is excellent mixed with milk or cream - such as in a pudding or truffle.

Madagascar Criollo is a study in complementary components. There's flavours
of blueberry, spices, and cocoa in there, a complexity remarkable for a
varietal. This is a superb chocolate for cakes, cookies, and other baked
goods.

Then there's the Etienne blends.

Coucher du Soleil is somewhat like Sur Del Lago, but less fruity. There's
an initial fruity hit, then it quickly becomes more of a cocoa/coffee
flavour. There is a sharp bitterness to the finish, a characteristic that
knocks it down a notch in my book. It's still quite good, though.

L'Harmonie is the best of the blends. It's incredibly complex, reminding me
a lot of Valrhona's Gran Couva, with elements of just about every desirable
flavour component in it. However, this complexity is never jarring or
confusing. It makes for a superb, yet highly characterised, general-purpose
chocolate.

Lever du Soleil maintains Guittard's excellence in the 60-65% class. This
one is very dark and clearly contains components of the Ecuador Nacional in
it - a strong chocolate at its percentage, and one where with the dark
roast it receives minimises the bitterness.

La Nuit Noire, however, is a complete disappointment. It just tastes very
sugary, like candy. There might be hints of peach and strawberry in there,
but it's pretty faint. It's just not even in the same world as the other
chocolates.

Then finally, there are the 2 old standbys, the traditional blends.

Gourmet Bittersweet is a chocolate that, if you've read the NG in the past,
you already know my opinions on. Quite simply, the best chocolate in the
world. Need I say more?

French Vanilla is also very, very good. No, it doesn't have the power of
Gourmet bittersweet but it's a nice exercise in subtlety. The flavour has
an earthy, molasses cast to it, especially appropriate for chocolate mixed
with cinnamon and other such spices.

There's the rundown, at least for the dark chocolates. If you'd like my
opinion on the milks, as well, let me know.


--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)
  #5 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 07:26 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default

at Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:08:51 GMT in D0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected],
(DPM) wrote :

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?


Each of the varietals is different, distinctive, and generally IMHO sets
the reference standard for its varietal.

The Colombian is unbelievable - an exploration of subtle, floral taste in a
chocolate, one of the great chocolates in the world and a perfect chocolate
to pair with rosewater. This is the chocolate to buy for Valentine's Day -
it's so seductive, anyone tasting it will swoon.

Ecuador Nacional is powerful and bold. It's got all the Arriba signatures -
blackberry, tobacco, woody, with that bitter hint characteristic of Arriba.
It is excellent mixed with milk or cream - such as in a pudding or truffle.

Madagascar Criollo is a study in complementary components. There's flavours
of blueberry, spices, and cocoa in there, a complexity remarkable for a
varietal. This is a superb chocolate for cakes, cookies, and other baked
goods.

Then there's the Etienne blends.

Coucher du Soleil is somewhat like Sur Del Lago, but less fruity. There's
an initial fruity hit, then it quickly becomes more of a cocoa/coffee
flavour. There is a sharp bitterness to the finish, a characteristic that
knocks it down a notch in my book. It's still quite good, though.

L'Harmonie is the best of the blends. It's incredibly complex, reminding me
a lot of Valrhona's Gran Couva, with elements of just about every desirable
flavour component in it. However, this complexity is never jarring or
confusing. It makes for a superb, yet highly characterised, general-purpose
chocolate.

Lever du Soleil maintains Guittard's excellence in the 60-65% class. This
one is very dark and clearly contains components of the Ecuador Nacional in
it - a strong chocolate at its percentage, and one where with the dark
roast it receives minimises the bitterness.

La Nuit Noire, however, is a complete disappointment. It just tastes very
sugary, like candy. There might be hints of peach and strawberry in there,
but it's pretty faint. It's just not even in the same world as the other
chocolates.

Then finally, there are the 2 old standbys, the traditional blends.

Gourmet Bittersweet is a chocolate that, if you've read the NG in the past,
you already know my opinions on. Quite simply, the best chocolate in the
world. Need I say more?

French Vanilla is also very, very good. No, it doesn't have the power of
Gourmet bittersweet but it's a nice exercise in subtlety. The flavour has
an earthy, molasses cast to it, especially appropriate for chocolate mixed
with cinnamon and other such spices.

There's the rundown, at least for the dark chocolates. If you'd like my
opinion on the milks, as well, let me know.


--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)


  #6 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 04:43 PM
DPM
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Geoff,

Thanks for your opinions. I've already tried the Coucher du Soleil discs,
and find them interesting - an almost waxy mouthfeel, with the flavor
restrained at first and then building towards the finish, with a distinct
banana note. I don't find any Guittard chocolate so far all that intense
(like Cluizel or Amedei), but balanced and fruity. I'll probably try them
all as time and money permit.

Thanks,
Dean

"Geoffrey Bard" wrote in message
news:PLMvd.571240$D%[email protected]_s51...
Guittard's couverture chocolate is excellent in my opinion. My favorite
bean-to-bar chocolatiers are Domori and Pralus, so as you can tell my
chocolate standards are not low at all. In general I find our American
chocolate lousy, but there are exceptions, Guittard being the most

noteable.

For a sweeter (61%) dark chocolate, try Guittard's Lever du Soleil - it

has
no overpowering flavor notes, and is quite excellent. Guittard's Coucher

du
Soleil is an excellent 72%. These are sold as couverture, though you can
get them in 1 Kg bags of discs (not chips, but broader) from Chocosphere,
who repackages the larger factory packages. Of course, health food stores
sell the Guittard Bittersweet, which Alex Rast rightly raves about. Eat
enough Guittard couverture and you'll be able to impress your friends when
eating chocolate candy, identifying the brand and formula of couverture
chocolate used in the coating.

It's a shame the Guittard couverture isn't sold as bars, perhaps minus the
soy lecithin for even better taste. As bars they would definitely join

the
ranks of Amedei, Venchi, Domori, Pralus, Chocovic, etc. in popularity.

Geoff

"DPM" wrote in message news0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected]
I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried

the
others? Alex, any opinions?
--
Regards,
Dean Macinskas






  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 04:43 PM
DPM
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Geoff,

Thanks for your opinions. I've already tried the Coucher du Soleil discs,
and find them interesting - an almost waxy mouthfeel, with the flavor
restrained at first and then building towards the finish, with a distinct
banana note. I don't find any Guittard chocolate so far all that intense
(like Cluizel or Amedei), but balanced and fruity. I'll probably try them
all as time and money permit.

Thanks,
Dean

"Geoffrey Bard" wrote in message
news:PLMvd.571240$D%[email protected]_s51...
Guittard's couverture chocolate is excellent in my opinion. My favorite
bean-to-bar chocolatiers are Domori and Pralus, so as you can tell my
chocolate standards are not low at all. In general I find our American
chocolate lousy, but there are exceptions, Guittard being the most

noteable.

For a sweeter (61%) dark chocolate, try Guittard's Lever du Soleil - it

has
no overpowering flavor notes, and is quite excellent. Guittard's Coucher

du
Soleil is an excellent 72%. These are sold as couverture, though you can
get them in 1 Kg bags of discs (not chips, but broader) from Chocosphere,
who repackages the larger factory packages. Of course, health food stores
sell the Guittard Bittersweet, which Alex Rast rightly raves about. Eat
enough Guittard couverture and you'll be able to impress your friends when
eating chocolate candy, identifying the brand and formula of couverture
chocolate used in the coating.

It's a shame the Guittard couverture isn't sold as bars, perhaps minus the
soy lecithin for even better taste. As bars they would definitely join

the
ranks of Amedei, Venchi, Domori, Pralus, Chocovic, etc. in popularity.

Geoff

"DPM" wrote in message news0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected]
I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried

the
others? Alex, any opinions?
--
Regards,
Dean Macinskas






  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 04:53 PM
DPM
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Alex Rast" wrote in message
...
at Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:08:51 GMT in D0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected],
(DPM) wrote :

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?


Each of the varietals is different, distinctive, and generally IMHO sets
the reference standard for its varietal.

The Colombian is unbelievable - an exploration of subtle, floral taste in

a
chocolate, one of the great chocolates in the world and a perfect

chocolate
to pair with rosewater. This is the chocolate to buy for Valentine's Day -
it's so seductive, anyone tasting it will swoon.

Ecuador Nacional is powerful and bold. It's got all the Arriba

signatures -
blackberry, tobacco, woody, with that bitter hint characteristic of

Arriba.
It is excellent mixed with milk or cream - such as in a pudding or

truffle.

Madagascar Criollo is a study in complementary components. There's

flavours
of blueberry, spices, and cocoa in there, a complexity remarkable for a
varietal. This is a superb chocolate for cakes, cookies, and other baked
goods.

Then there's the Etienne blends.

Coucher du Soleil is somewhat like Sur Del Lago, but less fruity. There's
an initial fruity hit, then it quickly becomes more of a cocoa/coffee
flavour. There is a sharp bitterness to the finish, a characteristic that
knocks it down a notch in my book. It's still quite good, though.

L'Harmonie is the best of the blends. It's incredibly complex, reminding

me
a lot of Valrhona's Gran Couva, with elements of just about every

desirable
flavour component in it. However, this complexity is never jarring or
confusing. It makes for a superb, yet highly characterised,

general-purpose
chocolate.

Lever du Soleil maintains Guittard's excellence in the 60-65% class. This
one is very dark and clearly contains components of the Ecuador Nacional

in
it - a strong chocolate at its percentage, and one where with the dark
roast it receives minimises the bitterness.

La Nuit Noire, however, is a complete disappointment. It just tastes very
sugary, like candy. There might be hints of peach and strawberry in there,
but it's pretty faint. It's just not even in the same world as the other
chocolates.

Then finally, there are the 2 old standbys, the traditional blends.

Gourmet Bittersweet is a chocolate that, if you've read the NG in the

past,
you already know my opinions on. Quite simply, the best chocolate in the
world. Need I say more?

French Vanilla is also very, very good. No, it doesn't have the power of
Gourmet bittersweet but it's a nice exercise in subtlety. The flavour has
an earthy, molasses cast to it, especially appropriate for chocolate mixed
with cinnamon and other such spices.

There's the rundown, at least for the dark chocolates. If you'd like my
opinion on the milks, as well, let me know.


--
Alex Rast


Alex,

Thanks for your opinions. I suspect I'll try them all.

On a completely different note: I was in Milan in October, and intended to
bring back some chocolate. I tried 3 stores, and the only Italian producer
I could find was Venchi! I asked for Amedei, even spelling it to compensate
for my execrable Italian, and one shopkeeper acted like he never heard of
it! I found Valhrona, ironically, but not Domori. What gives? Are these
producers that esoteric?

Regards,
Dean


  #9 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 15-12-2004, 04:53 PM
DPM
 
Posts: n/a
Default


"Alex Rast" wrote in message
...
at Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:08:51 GMT in D0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected],
(DPM) wrote :

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with a
cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried the
others? Alex, any opinions?


Each of the varietals is different, distinctive, and generally IMHO sets
the reference standard for its varietal.

The Colombian is unbelievable - an exploration of subtle, floral taste in

a
chocolate, one of the great chocolates in the world and a perfect

chocolate
to pair with rosewater. This is the chocolate to buy for Valentine's Day -
it's so seductive, anyone tasting it will swoon.

Ecuador Nacional is powerful and bold. It's got all the Arriba

signatures -
blackberry, tobacco, woody, with that bitter hint characteristic of

Arriba.
It is excellent mixed with milk or cream - such as in a pudding or

truffle.

Madagascar Criollo is a study in complementary components. There's

flavours
of blueberry, spices, and cocoa in there, a complexity remarkable for a
varietal. This is a superb chocolate for cakes, cookies, and other baked
goods.

Then there's the Etienne blends.

Coucher du Soleil is somewhat like Sur Del Lago, but less fruity. There's
an initial fruity hit, then it quickly becomes more of a cocoa/coffee
flavour. There is a sharp bitterness to the finish, a characteristic that
knocks it down a notch in my book. It's still quite good, though.

L'Harmonie is the best of the blends. It's incredibly complex, reminding

me
a lot of Valrhona's Gran Couva, with elements of just about every

desirable
flavour component in it. However, this complexity is never jarring or
confusing. It makes for a superb, yet highly characterised,

general-purpose
chocolate.

Lever du Soleil maintains Guittard's excellence in the 60-65% class. This
one is very dark and clearly contains components of the Ecuador Nacional

in
it - a strong chocolate at its percentage, and one where with the dark
roast it receives minimises the bitterness.

La Nuit Noire, however, is a complete disappointment. It just tastes very
sugary, like candy. There might be hints of peach and strawberry in there,
but it's pretty faint. It's just not even in the same world as the other
chocolates.

Then finally, there are the 2 old standbys, the traditional blends.

Gourmet Bittersweet is a chocolate that, if you've read the NG in the

past,
you already know my opinions on. Quite simply, the best chocolate in the
world. Need I say more?

French Vanilla is also very, very good. No, it doesn't have the power of
Gourmet bittersweet but it's a nice exercise in subtlety. The flavour has
an earthy, molasses cast to it, especially appropriate for chocolate mixed
with cinnamon and other such spices.

There's the rundown, at least for the dark chocolates. If you'd like my
opinion on the milks, as well, let me know.


--
Alex Rast


Alex,

Thanks for your opinions. I suspect I'll try them all.

On a completely different note: I was in Milan in October, and intended to
bring back some chocolate. I tried 3 stores, and the only Italian producer
I could find was Venchi! I asked for Amedei, even spelling it to compensate
for my execrable Italian, and one shopkeeper acted like he never heard of
it! I found Valhrona, ironically, but not Domori. What gives? Are these
producers that esoteric?

Regards,
Dean


  #10 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-12-2004, 12:50 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default

at Wed, 15 Dec 2004 16:53:19 GMT in [email protected],
(DPM) wrote :


"Alex Rast" wrote in message
.. .
at Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:08:51 GMT in D0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected],
(DPM) wrote :

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with
a cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried
the others? Alex, any opinions?


Each of the varietals is different, distinctive, and generally IMHO
sets the reference standard for its varietal.

....

There's the rundown, at least for the dark chocolates. If you'd like
my opinion on the milks, as well, let me know.


--
Alex Rast


Alex,

Thanks for your opinions. I suspect I'll try them all.

On a completely different note: I was in Milan in October, and intended
to bring back some chocolate. I tried 3 stores, and the only Italian
producer I could find was Venchi! I asked for Amedei, even spelling it
to compensate for my execrable Italian, and one shopkeeper acted like he
never heard of it! I found Valhrona, ironically, but not Domori. What
gives? Are these producers that esoteric?

No, and thus I suspect you were going to the wrong stores. If a shopkeeper
hadn't heard of it, this means most likely he isn't a chocolate
connoisseur.

However, even in Italy, distribution is thin. Keep in mind that these are
smaller, artisanal companies - they're not going to be found on every
street corner. The situation is really no different than it is in the U.S.
- that is, you have to do an actual search to find the stores that stock
it.


--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)


  #11 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-12-2004, 12:50 AM
Alex Rast
 
Posts: n/a
Default

at Wed, 15 Dec 2004 16:53:19 GMT in [email protected],
(DPM) wrote :


"Alex Rast" wrote in message
.. .
at Mon, 13 Dec 2004 17:08:51 GMT in D0kvd.3231$Z%[email protected],
(DPM) wrote :

I just received a block of this from Chocosphere. Very fruity, with
a cherry/almond/hazelnut profile; delicious, but idiosyncratic. I'm
wondering what the other couverture blocs are like. Has anyone tried
the others? Alex, any opinions?


Each of the varietals is different, distinctive, and generally IMHO
sets the reference standard for its varietal.

....

There's the rundown, at least for the dark chocolates. If you'd like
my opinion on the milks, as well, let me know.


--
Alex Rast


Alex,

Thanks for your opinions. I suspect I'll try them all.

On a completely different note: I was in Milan in October, and intended
to bring back some chocolate. I tried 3 stores, and the only Italian
producer I could find was Venchi! I asked for Amedei, even spelling it
to compensate for my execrable Italian, and one shopkeeper acted like he
never heard of it! I found Valhrona, ironically, but not Domori. What
gives? Are these producers that esoteric?

No, and thus I suspect you were going to the wrong stores. If a shopkeeper
hadn't heard of it, this means most likely he isn't a chocolate
connoisseur.

However, even in Italy, distribution is thin. Keep in mind that these are
smaller, artisanal companies - they're not going to be found on every
street corner. The situation is really no different than it is in the U.S.
- that is, you have to do an actual search to find the stores that stock
it.


--
Alex Rast

(remove d., .7, not, and .NOSPAM to reply)


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