Thanks to Michel Cluizel, I am able to try their new bars using cacao sourced from Brazil, specifically from a plantation in Riachuelo. According to Google, Riachuelo is a municipal in the northeastern state Sergipe. Michel Cluizel currently sources cacao from a handful of countries and it’s exciting to see them branch out to Brazil now that I’m seeing more chocolate makers start sourcing their cacao from Brazil!
If you aren’t familiar with Michel Cluizel, they are a family owned business that originally started in Damville, Normandy. The name comes from Michel, who is the son of Marc and Marcelle Cluizel. Michel’s parents were already experienced in making pastries and chocolate confections, so Michel started an apprenticeship under them when he was only 16 years old. While his parents had the goal of making their family business grow, Michel brought it to the industrial level. The family now has a manufacture location in West Berlin, NJ. Because this manufacturer is based out of my home state, I’m glad to support Michel Cluizel!
Though my latest post mentions that the purest dark chocolate contains just cacao/cocoa and sugar, Michel Cluizel adds some cocoa butter and “bourbon vanilla pod”. Some chocolate makers will add additional cocoa butter (cocoa beans are already naturally made up of about 50% cocoa butter) to help make a smoother mouthfeel or texture in their bars. Some vanilla is added to sometimes help enhance or improve certain flavors in a bar.
Since I’m still getting over a cold, I’m not able to smell this chocolate very well, but I tasted fig or stone dried fruit followed by nutty and nibby (like cocoa nibs) flavors. Then I taste strong fruity what was like blackberry flavors. The aftertaste was very cocoa-y as if I had just drunk some nutty dark hot chocolate. The tasting notes listed on the packaging are “grilled cocoa, dried fruit and berries, mingling with bitter-sweet notes, in a delicately spiced chocolate and caramel long finish”.
The 51% milk chocolate bar contained not only cocoa, cocoa butter and vanilla, but also whole milk powder as expected. When I remember to, I always like to include the ingredients lists for bars I’m trying in case anyone has any food allergies but is interesting in trying a specific chocolate bar, or for those who are discerning as to whether these bars contain emulsifiers or other filler ingredients.
For me this bar tasted like caramel, nuts and mostly butterscotch. The flavors gave me a warm, comforting feeling, which is great for recovering from a cold. The flavor experience described on the packaging says “creamy, tender texture, with sweet notes of milk, cream and caramel, mingling with notes of red fruits and cocoa, with a spicy and fresh lingering flavor.”
It was very nice to try milk and dark chocolate bars back-to-back made with cocoa beans from the same origin! It’s not often that I get to experience this kind of flavor comparison and I want to do it more often. If you enjoy chocolate and want to take your tasting journey to another level, I recommend trying these Michel Cluizel bars or any two bars that are from the same origin but different cocoa percentages.
Thank you again to Michel Cluizel for sharing these bars with me!
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay for reviewing any products. Though at the time of writing this post I am working in the chocolate industry, my work in the chocolate industry has no affect on my personal thoughts and experiences with the chocolate products shared on Time To Eat Chocolate. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.