Founded: 1884
Headquarters: Voiron, France
Style: Rustic
Characteristics: generally bold despite generous added cocoa oil from this master butter-cutter, who both fixes &, more critically, carries flavor forward so that progressions rarely lose stamina or run out of concourse which can often occur with other barsmiths when their chocolate (among several reasons) ‘goes flat’
Ferment: medium-low
Roast: dark
Conche: deep
Impact: Venerable & historic; christened in 1984 the named-origin concept 80 years after actually giving birth to it with Puerto Cabello & Cote d’Ivoire, the precursor & inspiration for Valrhona’s Grand Cru line to follow a year later in 1985. Then went on to premiere the 1st estate bar (Hacienda el Rosario) in 1994 which accelerated the whole move to single-origin chocolate. Also among the leaders to abandon the twin pillars of traditional bar-making – lecithin (compensated for by increased cacáo butter) & vanilla – placing greater emphasis on the bean, its sourcing (another of its pioneering quests), & handling, plus a calibration to further reduce the margin for error by fixing cacáo-content at a constant 75% (the ideal ratio on average) for almost all its bars except Dark-Milks.

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