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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review:  Valrhona Tanariva

     
Valrhona Tanariva 
Posted: 7 May 2013    8.5 
Valrhona Tanariva from France Tanariva is a 33% cocoa solid bar, the typical lighter milk chocolate bar any half decent chocolate manufacturer releases. As such, Valrhona keeps the playing field level by including very much what any other typical milk chocolate manufacturer includes.  The milk chocolate is so splendid on its own that the inclusion of a raisin or a peanut would take your mind away from the key attraction.    
Avg price/gram: USD 0.075   Cocoa %: 33  Size: 20g  France 
       


Valrhona from France has its tentacles all over the place, in every cacao-growing continent on the planet, it seems. With so much control over its bean sources, it can utilize beans from different locales to create a variety of bars with similar cocoa solid concentrations.  Witness the Manjari-Caraibe-Guanaja triumvirate.  The cocoa solid content only differs by several percent in all three of these bars, but the cocoa is sourced from a different continent for each bar.             

You got a similar dynamic going on with the Tanariva and the Jivara.  Both are billed as milk chocolate bars.  Jivara's got 40% cocoa solids.  Its a darker milk chocolate, with some of its bean content sourced from Ecuador.  Valrhona won't let on where the rest of the beans come from.   Tanariva's beans hail from Madagascar.  Remember Madagascar?  Valrhona sure does.   They get their Manjari beans from there. If the Chinese can get three dishes out of one Peiking duck, Valrhona can be expected to get two bars' worth out of possibly the same plantation's beans. 

Tanariva is a 33% cocoa solid bar, the typical lighter milk chocolate bar any half decent chocolate manufacturer releases. As such, Valrhona keeps the playing field level by including very much what any other typical milk chocolate manufacturer includes:  sugar, cocoa butter, milk powder, dried skimmed milk, vanilla extract, and an emulsifier.  No barley extract or brown sugar in this one.  The result is creamy and stupendous, something I don't encounter much when I eat lighter milk chocolates.         

Dark chocolate bars may be the way for a chocolate producer to show what kind of high quality beans it's using and how well it can pair off the bitterness.  Milk chocolate bars produce their own challenges.  How can you be creative enough to let high quality bean flavor shine through without masking all that flavor in sugar and milk powders?  It's no secret that all the mainstream boys like Hershey and Cadbury and Mars produce the absolute minimum when it comes to milk chocolate, sometimes barely being able to qualify as 'chocolate' by the local laws set down to establish what real chocolate is.  These multinational pretty boys can get away with their distracting dance maneuvers because, hey, they're multinationals sleeping with the very governments who set the regulations and because they're adept at covering up the inferior milk chocolate taste with almonds or hazelnuts or caramel. 

The Tanariva has no distractions to pull out of its hat.  It doesn't need any.  The milk chocolate is so splendid on its own that the inclusion of a raisin or a peanut would take your mind away from the key attraction.  There's a reason high quality producers like HBO don't include commercials, junior.          

Be cautious before picking up a Tanariva.  Once you've eaten one of these, commercial milk chocolates will seem to have the consistency of wax.  When you suffer a chocolate mix and have to go into a quickie mart to satisfy your fix, you'll feel like you're snacking on a candle.    

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Ghirardelli Sea Salt Soiree from USA -- 47% cocoa solids
 Cadbury Flake Luxury from Australia -- 24% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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  Tanariva is a Valrhona bar with beans from Madagascar. It's milk chocolate from France. Got milk?