Posts Tagged ‘Lario International’

I have treasure in my kitchen.

Amedei Chuao is a dark 70% single origin chocolate from Venezuela. It is the stuff that legends are made of.  As I wrote in a previous post:

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Amedei came about after brother and sister Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri, Italian sellers of baking ingredients, approached Valrhona seeking to distribute their products.   Story has it that Valrhona rejected their request, telling them that Italy wasn’t “capable of appreciating fine French chocolate”.

Furiously insulted, the Tessieris formed Amedei, which almost immediately started producing amazing chocolate.  Their true moment of triumph though, came when Alessio managed to secure exclusive access to the renowned Chuao cacao plantations, locking Valrhona out of their premium source of beans.  It’s a fabulous story – you can read more about it here and here.

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Amedei Chuao is regarded by many as the finest chocolate in the world, but until a few days ago, I’d never tried it. Part of the problem was availability, but there was also the issue of cost – at a recommended retail price of $18.50 for a 50g block, it was way out of my price range.

So…when I discovered that my friend Tania worked for Lario International, the Australian importer of Amedei, and that she could source some Chuao for me at wholesale prices, I leapt at the opportunity.  The chocolate comes in elegant one kilogram blocks, wrapped in black and gold…

I chopped up a large quantity for tempering…

…and ended up with nine glossy bars and a dozen or so small fleur de lys chocolates. It was a delight to work with, tempering to a crisp snap and shiny finish…

The chocolate is extremely fine and has a distinct flavour – slightly smoky with delicious plummy notes and a smooth, almost buttery, finish. As Monkey Girl pointed out, the pleasant hint of bitterness fades in the mouth and is replaced with sweetness and well balanced acid. (I love that Big Boy’s girlfriend has such a fine palate!)

The teenagers were hovering as I unmoulded the chocolate, and I tried to explain to them how rare the product was, and how much it cost, and the wonderful story behind it.  Unfortunately that didn’t stop them eating it as fast as they could – in the end I had to chase them out of the kitchen!

It is such a treat to have this chocolate to savour and experiment with, especially after reading so much about it.  Tania, I can’t thank you enough!

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