Founded: 1948
Headquarters: Roanne, France
Style: primarily Old School
Characteristics: A firebrand: extremely dark reputation for roasting just short of scorching. Before Pralus, the roaster was considered the “chocolate hearth”. Pralus pretty much abandons that for the fire itself in a testament to Bukowski’s maxim that ‘what counts most in life is how you walk thru the flames’. Spelled out by French thinker Gaston Bachelard, fire occupies a privileged position: “It shines in Paradise. It burns in Hell. It’s gentleness & torture. It’s cookery & apocalypse”.
Ferment: variable
Roast: perhaps the deepest roaster, period.
Conche: generally long
Impact: Spans the world farther & wider than just about anyone, going to the ends of the Earth to source cacáo of different origins, & applies a robust French or even espresso-level roast to each & every one of them – an equalizer of sorts that allows for easier comparisons between origins in his Gran Tasting Tour of chocolate.


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