Pâté de Cacao 100%

by Bernachon
Info Details
Country France   
Type Dark   (100%; "55%")
Strain Chuao   (+)
Source Venezuela   (+)
Flavor Earthen   (x Fruits/Flowers)
Style Classic      
Been awhile since taking stock of Bernachon, on this the 60th anniversary of its founding.

In that time the barsmith has stayed a pretty predictable course guided by an indomitable inner heart..."the only eye that can perceive the invisible" wrote Saint Exupery… because what a chocolate ends up can be quite inapparent from its beginning cacáo seeds, thus rewarding the ability to project.
Appearance   4.1 / 5
Color: purpled majesties (Pâté de Cacao 100%); burnt orange blush (Chuao)
Surface: where the hell's the vibrator, please…. sub-bubbling going on
Temper: -tantrum
Snap: thunderous
Aroma   7.2 / 10
Pâté de Cacao 100%
massive Earthen ware... leatherback turtle inhabiting a berm structure -> slightly soured chocolate

The return of the VOG (Vanilla Oak Giant) with huge trunk & deep roots
Mouthfeel   13.5 / 15
Texture: swollen round
Melt: looooooonnnnngg
Flavor   43.2 / 50
Pâté de Cacao 100%
chocolate glimpse -> hits the mushroom patch (woods ear, chanterelle, enoki, cremini) -> small sweet cream spot -> sour edge emerges -> reverts back down into the subterranean vaults (soil, roots, rhizome, insects, clay)

chocolate-vanilla -> light caramel -> from the recesses some sweet volatiles come fore (Chuao's fabled blueberry) still hanging on its twig branch -> cocoa char immolates an orange blossom
Quality   15.9 / 20
Pâté de Cacao 100%
Pâté indeed. Fairly controlled for a 100% (add'l cocoa butter helps in this regard) with just enough primordial underpinnings to remind the clapper of its unsweetened nature.
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vanilla, lecithin

Terrific middle stanza; while the opening & closing brackets dominated by vanilla-roast. Thus a generally inexpressive Chuao -- some of that on account of the low percentage cacáo-content (officially listed at 55% but Bernachon only factors cocoa mass into that calculus & never the added cocoa butter), the rest due to the vanilla inclusion hampering the chocolate.
INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, lecithin

Capsule Summary
If Bonnat & Morin, as well as to a lesser degree Valrhona, represent the Grandfathers & Grand Dame respectively of the French artisanal chocolate scene, then Bernachon along with Pralus & Cluizel are the primogenitors. These 2 bars show the house continues to hone its traditional ways, eschewing innovation for the most part, in favor of the tried & true. All good… by & large.

Reviewed September 30, 2015


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