At a time when many chocolate makers are using single origin beans, and when consumers are expressing much more interest in provenance and traceability, Amedei are something of an oddity. Alessio Tessieri (for it is he who, together with his sister Cecilia runs Amedei) has discovered and restored these plantations to productivity, using beans from no fewer than nine different plantations to create this unique blend of 75% chocolate. Yes, that’s right, there are nine different cacao bean varieties in this blend.
Of course, being Amedei there’s method in the madness. So much so that Amedei 9 has been winning awards for some time, including Academy of Chocolate Gold in 2009 and 2011. (Hardly cause for concern there then). With typical Italian modesty Amedei describe this bar as ‘An Extraordinary dark chocolate with all it takes to become a worldwide hit.’ and with nine bean varieties saved from extinction by Signor Tessieri and chums, it has a lot to offer.
The bar smells light, fruity, floral even, with hints of dark cacao. On the tongue there’s an initial lightness which quickly becomes a creamy, fruity experience reminiscent of berries and cream, then the chocolate begins to melt and starts to develop into an amazingly complex, rich dark st of flavours. It has an amazingly light, smooth mouthfeel and while the chocolate melts those fruity, floral notes open out. Light acidity and hints of citrus are the main flavours, with undercurrents of nuts and berries. It has a long, clean finish which belies the 75% cocoa solids. From the mouthfeel and flavours I would think the main player is Chuao cacao, and since when was that a bad thing?
In short, this blend is a masterwork. To be able to take and successfully blend no fewer than nine different cacao varieties obviously requires huge experience and knowledge. The way in which the other cacaos interplay with the main beans makes this a definite ‘one to savour’. The AOC Gold Award is definitely deserved, and if you’ve not tried Amedei chocolate before, this is definitely one to get your hands on. (I shan’t be sharing mine!)