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Posts Tagged ‘Chuao’

Amadei Chuao

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve opened up a word document to write this review and then, well, haven’t. I don’t know for sure why I’m finding it so hard, but I have a few ideas:

  1. I ate this chocolate four months ago, and it’s usually easier to write about something I tasted yesterday than something I nibbled on a third of a year ago.
  2. This chocolate has been called the best in the world, and I somewhat dread admitting that I didn’t love it above and beyond all others.
  3. This is the very last chocolate I’ll be reviewing that was eaten on my travels, and I hate feeling like I’m closing the book on that part of my life. Thank heavens I still have travel photos to eke posts out of…

Amadei Chuao

Amadei Chuao
What a lovely Italian-hotel-room-chair-fabric backdrop!

(Because I feel you should know, I just ran away from this post by playing my online Scrabble games, writing a Facebook message to my brother, and staring intently at my Gmail account whilst wishing I could will an email from someone into existence. It didn’t work. So I’m back here, having realised that I once more procrastinated from writing the review.)

(Oh, and just then I spent ten minutes choosing the photos for this review, then I checked my online Scrabble games again, and then I stared into space while singing No Rain by Blind Melon, then I started singing On My Own from Les Miserables, then I realised I was making myself feel sad, so I’m back here again.)

Amadei Chuao

Shiny!

Look! Chocolate! Fancy uber-expensive Italian chocolate, bought and eaten on my last day in Florence! Lookee the chocolate!

Okay. Let’s do this thing.

Amadei’s 70% Chuao dark chocolate definitely lived up to its reputation of awesomeness in terms of the aroma. A rich, tempting, deeply chocolatey aroma burst forth as soon as I unwrapped the bar, so that the whole time I was taking photos, I was slapping my own thieving hand away.

The chocolate had one of the crispest snaps I’ve encountered in my few years of chocolate tasting, which indicates some pretty masterful tempering (particularly factoring in how thin the bar was). And did I mention the aroma? So, so, so chocolatey. Really. Don’t believe me? Your loss.

Amadei Chuao

Shinier!

When I took my first bite, a strong fruitiness became apparent as an undercurrent to the otherwise rich and sweet chocolate flavour. (I always feel silly when I say that a chocolate tastes like chocolate, but those of you who’ve experience high quality, unctuous, fills-your-senses-with-happiness dark chocolate should know what I mean.) I thought I detected a faint hint of cream and earth, but this was soon swept away by a strong tanginess, reminiscent of red currants, pineapple, cedar, lime juice and (bear with me) even a hint of parmesan.

Okay, I almost deleted what I wrote about parmesan. It’s definitely in my tasting notes, but now I feel like a crazy lady.

Oh well. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you get the Real Hannah here.

Amadei Chuao

Eated!

There were times when the tanginess of this chocolate became too much for me. I picked up on lemon and sour raspberries and olives repeatedly, which is not to say that this chocolate didn’t also taste of high-quality, smooth, and delicious chocolate. It’s simply that, for me, the red-fruit spectrum isn’t ideal, although I know it tends to highly regarded by chocolate connoisseur folk. As my personal tastes tend more towards earthy, smoky, cream-and-molasses flavours, I’d be unlikely to make the (enormous) splurge on Amadei’s Chuao again.

It is lovely chocolate, though, and it’s probably just as well that I can’t get it in Canberra. I know I’d end up buying it again to check my first thoughts, and then I’d spend another four months avoiding writing about it…

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I fear I’m doing the hard-working folks at Chuao Chocolatier a disservice. I love their Chinita and Spicy Maya bars, and pre-blog brought five of each back to Australia after my last U.S. excursion. Yet since starting this blog, my experiences with Chuao have engendered little more than a lack of enthusiasm. I do think the Firecracker has an interesting premise, and that the bar reviewed below is pleasant enough. The problem is that I feel no desire to eat either again – and that makes for a sad chocolate blogger. 

Chuao Caracas Dark Chocolate with Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pistachios

Chuao Caracas Dark Chocolate with Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pistachios

At least the name is fun to say. Caracas. Caracas-caracas. Oh wait, now it looks like carcass. Not so good.

Chuao’s Caracas bar comes in both dark and milk varieties, but it should surprise no one that I bought the dark version. Chuao uses a sweet 60% for its dark chocolate base, with the sweetness particularly evident here as there are no kooky flavours blended into the chocolate itself. Instead, Chuao liberally scatters whole almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios throughout the bar: 

Chuao Caracas Dark Chocolate with Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pistachios

Oh, flash photography. You make things so shiny.

I can’t fault the aroma; it puts me in mind of rich hot chocolate before moving towards brownies baking the the oven – sweet, uncomplicated, chocolatey. This follows through in the taste, with my first impression being brownie batter (the kind made with real melted chocolate and butter, not a packet mix). The issue for me is that the flavour never moves beyond this basic sweetness, and in fact reminds me of being twelve years old and sneaking handfuls of Nestlé Choc Bits to eat while I played The Oregon Trail on the computer (You Have Died of Dysentery. Would You Like to Play Again?). 

Look, that’s a happy memory. And this is nice and uncomplicated chocolate, with large, plentiful, and fresh nuts abounding: 

Chuao Caracas Dark Chocolate with Almonds, Hazelnuts and Pistachios

Definitely a winner if you like nuts in their entirety. (Keep it clean, people.)

I would have liked the nuts to be roasted and thereby have a stronger flavour, but there is no denying that each nut was crisp and, well, nutty. The almonds and hazelnuts held their own the best, whereas the pistachios tended to be overpowered by the chocolate’s sweetness. (My kingdom for more Vestri!) 

For all that this bar is pleasant and easy to eat, I can’t help finding it a tad boring. 

It’s kind of like that polite boy who took you out to dinner a few times but was too shy to take your hand at the end of the night. He’s nice enough, but you want a little pizzazz, a little assertiveness, and that little something that makes you look twice and then come back for more…

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