/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Valrhona Jivara
Posted: 23 June 2011
This bar's creamy, it's light. It could be the brown sugar,
the barley malt extract, and the (natural) vanilla extract
that set this milk chocolate apart from the endless masses.
Or it could be the effects of the third large bottle of beer
I'd drunk that evening.
price/gram: USD 0.086
Cocoa %: 40
When Korean sex dynamo
wannabee Wan Hyuk Park returned to Thailand from Australia
with three Valrhona bars, I didn't know what to expect.
Like other brands, Valrhona is heavily hyped. I know
hotel chefs who use Valrhona cocoa powder in their cooking.
Were they buying it because Valrhona was so superb or
because it was a safe premium bet?
Manjari, both dark
bars, convinced me Valrhona knew how to put that special
spin on a common treat so as to make it their very own. Last
up for the taste buds was the Jivara, Valrhona's "creamy and
Leave it to Valrhona's
copywriters to make the mundane sound special.
On the back of the bar, it says that "the exceptionally
aromatic and powerful beans that are used to make Jivara are
found in Forastero plantations." That's a flowery way
of saying that this bar uses the cheapest, most plentiful
cacao bean in existence, the same one used to make that
shoddy milk chocolate in the Snickers or Kit Kat or Reese's
Peanut Butter Cup you just ate. I gotta admit, I was
surprised here. A company of Valrhona's stature
could've thought to put a fraction of Trinatario in the mix
just so they could boast about it.
That said, with the cheapest
beans (which, to be fair, most manufacturers the world over
use in their milks and some in their darks), Jivara isn't
skimping on cocoa content. 40% cocoa solids in this
one. I believe it's the highest cocoa solid milk
chocolate bar the Chocolate Republic has yet seen. To
put that into perspective,
Old Gold 'dark'
chocolate has only 45% and Old Gold
Rum and Raisin,
which many think of as a darkish chocolate bar, has only
This bar's creamy, it's
light. It could be the brown sugar, the barley malt
extract, and the (natural) vanilla extract that set this
milk chocolate apart from the endless masses. You normally
see vanilla in darker bars, very dark ones, to counteract
the bitter taste of the cacao. Or it could be the effects of
the third large bottle of beer I'd drunk
This is another bar in
Valrhona's Grand Cru range, with the beans in this one
sourced, at least in the past, in Ecuador. This is a bar that grows on you.
When you first bite into it, you wonder what all the hype and the hefty price tag is
all about. On the second bite, you start to appreciate that there's more to the bar
than just the initial flavor. It's got a balanced creamy texture, too. Then you notice
it has a pretty delicate aroma for a milk. By the fourth bite, you're hooked,
nd the bar's remaining life span is
Work your way up to this one.
The price tag warrants it. Graduate high school first. If you still think that Ghiradelli or
Cadbury set the standards, you still haven't left primary school.