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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Duc De Praslin Papua New Guinea 64%

     
Duc De Praslin Papua New Guinea 64% 
Posted: 8 March 2011    6.0 
Duc De Praslin Papua New Guinea 64% Gallothai describes the bar as having "distinct tones of whisky and smoke, combined with an acid cocoa taste" and add that "a bouquet of tobacco and a sheer touch of mushroom give this origin chocolate a sensation, almost sensuous taste." Sounds more like a wine than a chocolate by that account. I did not taste any whisky, mushroom, or smoke. I did taste more acidity and shaper choco-notes next to the Costa Rica.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.056   Cocoa %: 65  Size: 45g   
       


Gallothai in Thailand manufactures an Origin Dark Collection of chocolate bars made from the beans sourced from a a variety of cacao-growing nations.  The bars weren't cheap per gram, so I only picked up two, unsure if Thailand could really pull off a decent-tasting chocolate.  The first bar I chose was the Costa Rica.   The Papua New Guinea was the second.   Both bars come with a hefty price tag per gram.  I needn't have worried about Thailand being able to execute a finely made chocolate bar.   Gallothai's Origin Dark Collection series is manufactured in Belgium, and we all know Belgium's experience with chocolate-making. 

Belgium's Belcolade makes the chocolate in these country-made bars for Gallothai, a portmanteau of the words Gallo (a regional language of northern France) and Thai, reflecting the company's cultural origins.  Gallothai is not a bean-to-bar manufacturer.   Their main focus is chocolate confectionary, and this, too, they buy in bulk and refashion it in Thailand before it's sold.  The Duc de Praslin line is the company's way of educating the Thai marketplace about better chocolate, a tall task indeed.  The Thais are currently at a third grade level when it comes to knowledge about quality chocolate   

I have not yet been to either Costa Rica or Papua New Guinea.  I chose those two country bars as my initial foray into Gallothai because they contained the same cocoa solid content.  I wanted to keep this taste experiment as controlled as possible by limiting the number of changing variables.  The objective was to compare the bean flavor from the two countries, and this can be done more accurately if the cocoa percentages are equal or near equal than if one had 34% and the other 64%.    

Although this Papua New Guinea bar is listed on the wrapper as 64%, if you want to be pedantic about it, the bar is 65% -- 56% cocoa mass and 9% cocoa butter.  The Papua New Guinea beans have a darker flavor than their Costa Rican counterpart.  There's slightly less sugar in this bar and more vanilla.  Gallothai describes the bar as having "distinct tones of whiskey and smoke, combined with an acid cocoa taste" and add that "a bouquet of tobacco and a sheer touch of mushroom give this origin chocolate a sensation, almost sensuous taste."  Sounds more like a debaucherous night out of weed, magic mushrooms, whiskey, and women than a chocolate bar, by that account.

Chocolate regionsI did not taste any whiskey, mushroom, or smoke.  I did taste more acidity and shaper choco-notes compared to the Costa Rica.  There wasn't a night-and-day difference between the two chocolate bars and, in the first few bites, I couldn't be sure which one I preferred more.  That preference became only more obvious when I was two-thirds of the way through each bar, deciding only marginally in Papua New Guinea's favor.  My verdict contravenes the general American preference for Costa Rica (as an immigrant destination) over Papua New Guinea.  Nothing revelatory there.  Since when did cocoa preferences mirror immigration locales?  Look at Ivory Coast.  That nation produces some fine cocoa beans -- and even less people would choose to immigrate there than Papua New Guinea.

Perhaps a more sophisticated chocolate palate than my own is required to discern the subtle taste differences in bean flavors between countries.  A half decade ago I took a wine tour of the Yarra Valley in Melbourne.  My tour guide, Nick, told me he could tell the difference between merlot wines made from South African grapes, Australian grapes, Chilean grapes, etc.  The soils and climates would be different in each country, thus altering flavors, but to be able to discern location based on a taste?   Can you eat a mango and state with authority that it's a Thai mango, Australian mango, or Mexican mango.  I definitely can't -- and mangoes aren't a further processed food item.  Nick must've had some palate (or been a big talker).  I'll leave it to men with their nano-tuned palates to savor the tobacco, smoke, mushroom, whiskey, and whatever odors you smell at a Koh Phangan Full Moon Party.

At the end of the day, consider this.  You'll probably never arrange a vacation tour to Papua New Guinea.   Gallothai, with this bar, pulls off a decent tour of Papua New Guinea's choco-landscape.  Visit Costa Rica's beaches as you munch on this bar.             

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Theo Spicy Chile from USA -- 70% cocoa solids
 Cadbury Burnt Almond Dark from Canada -- 39% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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Insights From A Travel Mastermind

  Thailand has Belgian chocolate produced by Belcolade. The dark chocolate is sourced in Belgium from beans grown in Papua New Guinea. Gallothai markets the Belgian chocolate bar as Duc de Praslin. The dark chocolate is part of the Origin dark collection series. Like the chocolate republic with Doug of Doug's Republic?