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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.

Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Jacques Grand Cru 72

     
Jacques Grand Cru 72 
Posted: 15 September 2011    6.0 
Jacques Grand Cru 72 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.     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.053   Cocoa %: 72  Size: 100g  Belgian chocolate 
       


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.

Hmmmm.  Callebaut.  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. 

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 these prices.  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.         

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  Jacques Grand Cru 72 from Belgium is dark chocolate from Barry Callebaut. It tastes exactly like a Carrefour bar.