The origin of L’Amourette Chocolat sounds just like a romantic movie plot (and if it isn’t one already, it should be)!
A young chocolatier’s love is unrequited, so he travels the world to forget the woman of his dreams. While in Paris, he visits a used bookstore and purchases a book called “Practical Magic.” After reading about aphrodisiacs and magic rituals, he experiments with different chocolate recipes until he finds the most intriguing one. With a bouquet of flowers and this special chocolate bar, he proposes to his sweetheart and she accepts after eating a single piece of decadent chocolate. And so begins this “love affair.”
What attracted me to this 72% Noir chocolate bar? Well, I couldn’t resist its bright/colorful packaging with vintage-inspired artwork + I had never seen a bar with pomelo peel. Until today, I thought that “pomelo” was just an alternate name for “grapefruit” – so reading this article was an eye-opener. Pomelo (the largest fruit in the citrus family) is considered the ancestor of the grapefruit since pomelos are a natural (non-hybrid) citrus fruit, whereas grapefruits are a hybrid between an orange and a pomelo. One of the main differences between these fruits are their peels. Pomelos have thick, pebbly, soft skins, while grapefruits typically have thinner, smooth skins. To maintain the true taste of the pomelo peel, L’Amourette candies them naturally, without sulfur dioxide.
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook small details upon first glance. Such is the case with the various citrus wedges that are printed on the front and back with spot high gloss UV varnish. You have the hold the package just so and in the right light to fully appreciate these images that hint at the flavor of the bar inside. I wonder if the rest of the bars in the Art Noveau line have the same type of design element?!
There was a heft to this chocolate bar, so upon removing the 10 segment tablet from the shiny blue-ish green foil inner wrapping, it came as no surprise that the mold they used was a little thicker than usual. The domed shaped segments make me think that this mold could serve a dual purpose, if they wanted to make filled chocolates. While this bar had a glossy finish, there were a few remnants of bubbles on the surface. Each of the segments have the company logo embossed on them: a romantic cursive script font within a stylized heart.
Due to the thickness of the segments, it was a little difficult to break them in half. However, there was a medium to dull snap once I was able to do so. It’s difficult to fully describe the aroma of the blend of Rio Caribe and Carenero Superior beans from Venezuela: it reminded me of a freshly-made gourmet hot chocolate with warm nutty spices…I wonder if the Bourbon vanilla beans and cocoa butter had anything to do with this?! Both of these cacao beans have distinct characteristics. Carenero Superior beans are known for a lighter flavor while also being more bitter and less earthy, though they still have complex, yet delicate, woody and flowery notes. Rio Caribe beans, on the other hand, are reported to be less complex and exhibit sweet, rich earthy and fruity notes. Overall this blend produced a not too sweet bar that hinted at bitter notes without being harsh. Some would say that this is not a complex bar, but I found it to be very enjoyable since you could savor both the chocolate itself and the other ingredients without being distracted by the separate elements.
Even though a segment might outwardly appear not to have any candied pomelo peel, you will be rewarded with a tangy morsel whether you let it melt slowly or chomp into it. I personally prefer the “chomping” method since that seems to release more of the lightly roasted flavor notes. While the packaging says that this bar was produced using a 36-hour conching process; the texture was not the silk-smooth that I was expecting, it was slightly coarser, though not really gritty either.
If Hollywood ever decides to immortalize Andre V’s story, which actors should portray him and his wife and, more importantly, will that secret chocolate recipe ever be revealed?! 😉
To see their various chocolate lines and discover if they are available in your area, please visit: http://www.lamourettechocolat.com/