/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Valrhona Tanariva
Posted: 7 May 2013
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.
price/gram: USD 0.075
Cocoa %: 33
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
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
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
Be cautious before picking up
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.