Let's taste a Jacques Grand Cru 72, shall we? It ain't the finest dark chocolate bar in Belgium. Barry Callebaut
pulls the strings on this bar, baby. Tastes just like the ones you get at Carrefour, bro.
/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Jacques Grand Cru 72
Jacques Grand Cru 72
Posted: 15 September 2011
In terms of taste and quality, the Jacques bar is just slightly inferior to Carrefour's Extra Dark, so slight that I'd rate Jacques the same or just a half point lower if my ratings were based simply on taste. However, when you ask the additional question why would anyone want to pay 2.5 times the price for a Jacques bar in Europe when Carrefours aplenty are about, you comprehend that Jacques' game is selling the past to Europeans with their heads in the sands.
price/gram: USD 0.053
Cocoa %: 72
With as many reviews as I've
done at the Republic, I'm getting better at just sighting a
bar. I look at its wrapper, read the back text, see
where it was made and who made it, and I can make a split
second assessment what I'm probably in for . . . and usually
be correct. Looking at Jacques, it only took me a few
seconds to take a guess. You see, I felt as if I
met this Jacques bar before.
To quote some text from the
back of this wrapper: "Once upon a time there was Jacques
and Callebaut. The know-how of Jacques combined with
Callebaut's delicious recipes for the best in chocolate."
Then there's a spiel about using only pure cocoa butter and
no vegetable fats, ingredients selected with care, passion,
tradition, sex appeal, whatever.
I'd seen that name somewhere. Oh, yeah.
Now I remember. The
Carrefour Extra Dark
I reviewed in April. Barry Callebaut produced that bar
for the French supermarket chain. Barry Callebaut is
the new name for the multinational created from the merger
of Belgian Callebaut with the French Cacao Barry in 1996.
Callebaut's delicious recipes are now in the possession of
Barry Callebaut's bar
manufactured for Carrefour was extra dark and 72%.
Just like this Jacques bar. The blocks were shaped the same.
The bars snapped the same and smelled the same. The
differences aren't in Jacques' favor. Carrefour's bar
was less than half the price of this one and contained bits
of cacao bean in the chocolate. You got more for
paying a helluva lot less.
In terms of taste and
quality, the Jacques bar is just slightly inferior to
Carrefour's Extra Dark, so slight that I'd rate Jacques the
same or just a half point lower if my ratings were based
simply on taste. However, when you ask the additional
question why would anyone want to pay 2.5 times the price
for a Jacques bar in Europe when Carrefours aplenty are
about, you comprehend that Jacques' game is selling the past
to Europeans with their heads in the sands.
Look, Jacques. If you
really have the "know-how" you boast of, why the $@)*$@ aren't
you using your own recipes? Jacques Chocolaterie was
started by Antoine Jacques at the end of the nineteenth
century. You mean to tell me Antoine couldn't make a
chocolate without first digging into the Callebaut recipe
book? However good Jacques ever was, that's all in the
past now. Jacques is now just a name on a label,
dumping out multinational chocolate at obscene prices
because of the Jacques name alone. Put Carrefour's
name on essentially the same bar and the price plummets.
Head over to Carrefour pronto.
All of us know what's like to
be ripped off. Just last month, I bought a Thai
grammar book for the equivalent of about $50 at a Japanese
bookstore chain. A week later, a friend found the
identical book for $16 cheaper at another popular but local
Thai chain. I was had, the
joke was on me. Jacques isn't bad tasting chocolate,
but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when you're paying
The price I quote on this site is a sale price, discounted
by 25%, and in some countries you'd be required to see a shrink even if you got
Jacques at that sale price.
If Antoine's surname were
Mendelbaum instead of Jacques, Barry Callebaut wouldn't have
wasted time buying the name. Pretend the brand name is
Mendelbaum and don't waste your time with it either.