Pralus Madagascar Criollo 75%

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on June 13 2012 | Leave A Comment

This morning I received a nice box of review samples from one of my favourite chocolate retailers, The Chocolate Trading Company. Packed as it was with delicious looking chocolate, this particular bar stood out for me and I couldn’t wait to review it.

It’s basically a 75% version of my favourite 100% chocolate bar, Le Criollo 100%, and I was really keen to see how the addition of a little sugar would affect the flavour of the bar.

If you don’t know François Pralus, he’s a French bean-to-bar chocolate maker. Pralus have their own plantation in Madagascar, although the packaging doesn’t actually say if the the beans in this bar come from there or elsewhere. I’m sure some knowledgable Chocablog reader will be able to tell us, but very often the answers to these questions aren’t simple.

Inside the simple paper and foil wrapper, the actual chocolate looks a little rough and ready. There’s a wonderful gloss to it, but it does look a bit scuffed and battered. Personally I like the way it looks, but this bar is more about flavour and texture than appearance.

I adore the flavour of the Pralus 100% bar. It has a touch of natural sweetness, but it has a very distintive flavour that for some reason reminds me of Marmite. But in a good way! The smooth, glossy texture – thanks to a high cocoa butter content – makes it incredibly easy to eat, and that was something I was hoping for in this bar.

I wasn’t disappointed. All the distinctive Madagascan flavour notes are there, but the addition of sugar seems to enhance the deep, red fruit notes naturally present in the chocolate. I could nibble at the 100% bar all day – this bar would be lucky if it lasted half a day! It has an ultra-smooth, buttery texture that I personally love because it’s so different from most other high cocoa chocolates, although it might be a touch too buttery for some.

The flavour is what I really love though. It’s a mixture of full on, deep, roasted cocoa beans and light, sweet, raspberries. There’s a little acidity to it, but the fruity notes are what really come through, and stay with you long after the chocolate has gone. Now I just need someone to take it away from me or I may just eat the rest of the bar in one sitting.

Highly recommended – but I’d also recommend you try the 100% bar for comparison!

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Comments On This Post

  1. Hi Dom,
    Nice choice to review the Pralus first! I’ve been getting quite a few Pralus bars via the Chocolate Trading Co. of late and I am becoming a real fan of their chocolate. I will definitely try this one as well as the 100%.

    PS: have a nice day in the sun if you get out. First bit of sun I’ve seen in days :)

  2. The order website states:

    “This single origin chocolate bar uses only fine flavour, Criollo cocoa (organic) from Madagascar.”

    And it looks good – I think I may have to give both these bars a try :D Thanks for the review.

    • Dom (Chocablog Staff)

      You’re right – I’m just wondering if the beans come from Pralus’s own estate, or other estates on the island. I suspect the latter – not that it’s a problem, I’m just curious where my chocolate comes from!

  3. Ron P.

    Pralus started harvesting from his own estate on Nosy Bé last year but didn’t have enough beans from there for an entire production run. So the 2011 vintage is from Sambirano Valley. Going forward for later in 2012, he’ll probably have a blend of Nosy Bé and Sambirano until yields at Nosy Bé are sufficient.

    Also, the “Criollo” is an admixture that in all likelihood includes other varieties.

    By the way, I picked up this info from the guys at C-spot:
    http://www.c-spot.com/chocolate-census/bars/bar/?pid=133 and also
    http://www.c-spot.com/chocolate-census/bars/bar/?pid=1448 (the second link includes an excellent discussion on fair-trade & the island’s genetics)

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