Sometimes, a girl finds herself in the mood to eat a block of chocolate where the primary focus is not the chocolate itself, but the flavours added to it. In such cases, a girl might reach for a Chocomize White Chocolate with Crystallised Violets, Soybeans and Toffee, or a B.T. McElrath Chile Limón Bar.
At other times, a girl finds herself in the mood to sit at home wearing a floral pink and blue skirt, a green and black spotted singlet top, and mismatched calf-high socks whilst fastforwarding through the more violent parts of Rome.
But we’re not going to talk about those moods today.
We’re here because of the times when a girl is in the mood for high-quality, nuanced, complex, unadulterated, and pure chocolate craftsmanship.
We’re here for Michel Cluizel.
Michel Cluizel 1er Cru de Plantation Concepcion
I was horrified to discover I’ve only reviewed one Michel Cluizel chocolate on this blog so far. I’ve actually tried almost every Michel Cluizel chocolate bar there is, but such eating all occurred pre-blog. Sadly, Michel Cluizel is very hard to find in Canberra. Trip to Paris, anyone?
For the moment, I can talk to you about Michel Cluizel’s 66% Concepcion chocolate. This chocolate is from the 1er Cru de Plantation line, which means that all of its cacao comes from one single plantation. The plantation that grows the beans for this Concepcion chocolate is in Venezuela, and if it’s anything like my Venezuelan friend Maria, it’s bound to be loyal and fun, and will bring a smile to your face.
Even just breathing in a Michel Cluizel chocolate makes me happy. There are so many nuances in the aroma that it’s near certain the taste will be equally brilliant, complex, and satisfying. This Concepcion bar sent forth a bouquet of citrus, walnut, dulce de leche, sawdust (in a good way…) and mango, as well as the rich undercurrent of pure chocolate-y goodness.
(By the by, after careful consideration I’ve decided that if I ever do meet someone and get married, I don’t want a bridal bouquet made of citrus, walnuts, dulce de leche, and sawdust. It would be far too sticky, and I wouldn’t want my groom licking my hands in front of our families*.)
Now that we’ve got the serious wedding business out of the way, it’s time to let you know whether this Venezuelan chocolate did replicate my Venezuelan friend in bringing a smile to my face.
Every time my teeth sank through a smooth, slowly-melting and almost-fudgy square of this vegan 66% dark chocolate, a wave of lingering flavour notes slipped into my mind. My first happy thought was that there was no tanginess or sourness to this chocolate, nor any acrid bitterness.
This chocolate is all about rich, cohesive flavours sweeping in and over each other, so that you notice caramel, then spice cake, then black tea and its tannins, then tobacco and muscovado sugar, black tea again and caramel, followed by hints of olives, cherries, and smoke, then again that lingering deep-yet-sweet combination of almost-burnt caramel and tea.
In a word, this Michel Cluizel Concepcion chocolate is lovelyhitsthespotrichdarkcomplexlovely.
And it’s made me yearn for the 1er Cru de Plantation Vila Gracinda and Los Ancones bars, because I remember liking those chocolates even more than this one in the past.
* Seriously, why do I type these things?