Doug's Republic chocolate

   print this page   email this page   bookmark this page  subscribe to this site with an RSS feed  Feedburner Link

Bookmark and Share                                                            

 
Doug's Republic Home
Doug's Travel Stuff
Doug's Beer Republic
Doug's Chocolate Republic
- Chocolate Republic Homepage
- Overview
- Ratings Explained
- Big Guys vs Small Guys
- Chocolate Republic TV
- Search By Chocolate Bar Specs

Contact
Fair dinkum, mate. Keywords1

Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Duc De Praslin Uganda 80%

     
Duc De Praslin Uganda 80% 
Posted: 24 July 2011    3.5 
Duc De Praslin Uganda 80% My taste experience of Duc De Praslin's Uganda 80%, the last in their Origins range I sampled, could draw a lot of parallels with my '96 Ugandan robbery experience. In '96, insiders robbed me of possessions from a place I'd rented from them in Uganda. In '11, insiders robbed me of good taste from a chocolate bar I'd bought from them with cacao sourced in Uganda.     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.056   Cocoa %: 80  Size: 45g   
       


Chocolate regionsOf all the countries from which Duc De Praslin uses beans to create their Origins collection, the African nation of Uganda is the only one I've been to.  That was way back in 1996 and part of my 15-month African tour.        

You know what happened to me in Uganda?  I got robbed. Yep.  The only place in Africa where I was thieved.  I was sharing a room with a Canadian couple.  We had our own lock on the door.  When we came back one night, the lock had been hacked off and our room ransacked.  This was before the era of iPods, digital cameras, travel with laptop computers.   The thieves -- the hotel staff -- stole a cassette Walkman, a few tapes, and some other stuff that wasn't worth much.    It was more the feeling of having one's space violated that impacted the three of us.  The police told us to continue staying at the same same hotel while they "investigated".

My taste experience of Duc De Praslin's Uganda 80%, the last in their Origins range I sampled, could draw a lot of parallels with my '96 Ugandan robbery experience.  In '96, insiders robbed me of possessions from a place I'd rented from them in Uganda.  In '11, insiders robbed me of good taste from a chocolate bar I'd bought from them with cacao sourced in Uganda.      

This 80% bar consists of just three things:  72% cocoa mass, 8% coca butter, and 20% sugar.  Duc De Praslin lets you know that "Forastero beans from Uganda are renowned for their classic cocoa flavor and low acidity.  The high cocoa content of this rich, dark chocolate provides a supreme cocoa taste with hints of earthiness, mushrooms, and a subtle smoky flavor."  If the bar tasted anything like this, I wouldn't be complaining.  I'd be lying in bed, having pieces hand fed to me by my wife, basking in the glory of having found the perfect chocolate bar.   

The bar had a flat flavor.  I tasted bitter cacao, not even unique Ugandan bitter cacao, and not much else.  When a manufacturer gets into the 80% ranges of cacao content, that's when it's time to get creative.  Green & Black's handled the bitterness issue well with their 85% bar.  How's Duc De Praslin handling the bitterness issue?  About as well as Barack Obama is handling the U.S. national debt.  Sorry, guys.  Ignoring the problem doesn't get rid of it.  Adding sugar alone, literally with the chocolate or in mellifluous cliches in Obama's case, is a cop out.  

For the record, forastero beans are bulk beans.  Forastero beans from the Ivory Coast and Ghana constitute the majority of beans you're going to find in any chocolate anywhere.  More exotic cacaos (Ecuador, Madagascar, Papua New Guinea) are mixed in to add flavor notes.  While it's well known to even the lobotomized that West Africa is a major world producer of cacao, I had no idea whatsoever that Uganda in East Africa was also in on the cacao act.  Pre-2000, Uganda wasn't on the cacao map.  In 2007, cacao exports for Uganda totaled just USD 20m, but by 2010, the country was exporting USD 45m and 15,000 metric tons.  Production levels remain low because heavy machinery can't run all year round on an output of 15,000 metric tons.   By contrast, Ivory Coast produced 1.6m metric tons in 2010, and number 2 producer Ghana 490,000 metric tons.   Uganda's advantage as a cacao producer, as far as I can tell, is the fact that the country sits at a higher altitude than West African nations.  The humidity in Uganda is lower, so the cacao crop is infested by fewer diseases and pests.

Kim's ChocolateIn doing my research for this Duc De Praslin bar, I discovered that a Belgian company named Kim's Chocolates is selling their Cachet Limited Selection Uganda 80% bar in a leading Canadian supermarket chain.  The cost is 30% less per gram than Duc De Praslin.  On the back of Kim's chocolate wrapper, it reads that "forastero beans in Uganda are renowned for their classic cocoa flavor . . . with hints of earthiness, mushrooms, and a subtle smoky flavor."  Don't you get a feeling of deja vu as you read that?

The owner of Gallothai made no secret that the chocolate used in the Duc De Praslin bars is manufactured by a Belgian operation called Belcolade.  It's highly likely that Kim's Chocolates sources the identical cacao (notice a Peru 64% bar above), the identical taster notes, and makes, essentially, the identical chocolate.

Uganda may be the world's next wonderlords when it comes to cacao growth.  Don't purchase this bar if you're truly eager to find out.             

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Cadbury Fruit & Nut from Australia -- 26% cocoa solids
 Cadbury Bourneville Almond from India -- 44% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


Doug's Republic chocolate


 

Copyright © 2009-2017. All Rights Reserved.

  



 
Computer Comprehensive Companion

 Keywords2 here