The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Pralus Le 100% Criollo Cocoa

Although I love dark chocolate and will refuse to buy any chocolate that has less than 70% cacao content, I still have my limits, which is usually around the 87% cacao mark. I've tried the Lindt Excellence 99% dark chocolate once a few years ago, but I did not appreciate the bitterness at all. A tiny amount of sugar goes a long way in dark chocolate appreciation, and this is certainly true for chocolates made with the common Forastero/Trinitario beans (which makes up for 95% of the world's chocolate production). The last time I wrote about chocolates, I gave a brief spiel about the rarer and more delicate Criollo cocoa beans, and gave a taste review on Francois Pralus' 75% Criollo chocolate. I described how different it tasted to all the other chocolates we've ever eaten, and how much we appreciated the complexity in flavour and aroma.

Encouraged by the fact that the 75% Criollo chocolate didn't have any bitterness, I tried looking for the 100% Criollo bar - also by Pralus - that I'd seen at the same supermarket, but alas it was no longer on the shelves. I am guessing that we dark choc lovers are a rare breed, and there isn't much profit to be made by selling 100% pure chocolates to the general Hong Kong populace. I'd been keeping my eyes out for them ever since and then last week, one (only one!!) Le 100% Criollo bar appeared on the shelves, which I quickly grabbed and put in my shopping basket along with the rest of my groceries, quickly paid and then gleefully carried it home to Rob, who I knew was more eager than I to taste pure Criollo chocolates.

This chocolate is made with nothing but pure cocoa and cocoa butter - no sugar, no milk and no additional flavour. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about eating this 100% chocolate bar, but I knew that the Criollo cocoa beans are quite mild and would be much nicer than eating a 100% bar made with the bitter Forastero beans. The Le 100% Criollo was smooth with a creamy texture, and the minty and fruity flavours that we'd found in the 75% were also present in this chocolate. The citrus note was much more pronounced in the absence of any sugar, which would have acted to soften the acidity.

Pralus' Le 100% Criollo is certainly not an everyday chocolate (definitely not at this price!), but it's a good one to expand my taste knowledge of chocolates.


  1. I like dark chocolate too. It's too expensive for my pocketbook. Is it good for diabetics?
    Kathy L. :)

  2. Hi Kathy, this 100% chocolate contained no sugar, only cocoa, so I think it's diabetics-safe. The non-sweet taste does take a bit of getting used to though..

  3. This is my favorite dark chocolate. I buy it from Whole Foods Market.

    From the packaging:

    "Our 100% bar is chocolate in its purest form. This means it has no sugar added, it's pure cocoa paste. Made from the same high quality cocoa beans as our Madagascar bar (Sambirano valley), the extra long conch time gives roundness and lusciousness to this ultra high percentage bar.

    And it is organic.

  4. Hi Fred, thanks for dropping by. Criollo chocolate is the only 100% pure choc that I can eat, and I think it would be great if there were more brands using Criollo beans. Totally happy with Pralus Le 100% though :)