Club Meeting of November 10, 2013

Tonight's meeting had a small group of eight but it was no less fun. The chocolate tonight was all from Paris, gathered on Leonard's recent trip there, plus one Paris bar brought by Susan G.


The selections were:

1. Pralus, Venezuela, Forastero, 75%

2. Pralus, Brazil, 75%

3. Patrick Roger, Peru, 72%

4. La Mere de la Famille, Guanaja, 70%

5. La Mere de la Famille,Venezuela, 72%

6. Jean Paul Hévin, 81%.

1. The Pralus, Venezuela came out on top with three 9s, two 8s, a 7, 5.5, and a lowly 3. How tastes vary

2. The Patrick Roger came in second

3. For third place - a tie!, the Mere de la Famille 70% with the Pralus, Brazil

4. Fourth place went to the Mere, Venezuela

5. And last place went to the Hévin bar. Michael loved this bar and gave it a stunning 10, a rarity for him. He described it as subtle, seductive, feminine, playful and inviting. His eyes got that far away, dreamy look and we assured him he could take the rest of the bar home with him for future enjoyment

Club Meeting of August 25, 2013

Tonight's meeting featured seven bars all from the same chocolatier, Soma in Toronto, Canada. We tasted Soma at the last meeting and they scored so high that a question was raised. Those bars we tasted were brought back from Toronto fresh from the factory by a club member who had been there. We wondered if there would be a difference with bars that were older. Would they taste the same?

We found a store in San Francisco that sold Soma - Fog City News on Market St.

And we also had someone going back to Toronto.

So here was the idea. Select three varieties and get two bars each, one from the factory and one store bought in SF.

IS there a difference? The three bars are listed below. For a chaser we also tasted the Soma Camino Verde that we had last month and again it took the top score tonight. Rare that a bar is so universally liked by the group. The other bars all had something added, so were not just simple bars.

The bars tasted:

From Toronto, Canada

Black Science. 88%

Green Tangerine. 66% Madagascar

Dark Fire. 66%.Venezuela

Camino Verde, 70%

From SF:

Black Science. 88%

Green Tangerine. 66% Madagascar

Dark Fire. 66%.Venezuela


The ratings:

1. Camino Verde, 70%

2. Green Tangerine, Toronto

3. Green Tangerine, San Francisco

4. Black Science, Toronto

5. Black Science San Francisco

6. Dark fire, Dark Fire, Toronto

7. Dark Fire, San Francisco. Spicy

Turns out some tasted a difference and some did not. Neither was in such a majority that we could say conclusively there is or is not a difference.
Member Clifton Baron informed the club that regretfully he could not attend this month's meeting.
Club Meeting of June, 2013

An Extraordinary Night

Club member Jesse Duhan brought 12 bars of California chocolate, each infused with a variety of things, such as tea, fruit, spices etc. Six were milk or white, so we only tried those labeled "Dark".

The idea of flavored chocolate was so out-of-the-ordinary for the club that we didn't even try to rate the bars, and just described our reflections and what we thought the chocolates were infused with. Unfortunately none of the bars were well liked and they elicited a good number of groans. But it was great fun nevertheless. In fact, it was a raucous scene. Club President Leonard was quite unnerved by the experience and the usually well mannered group almost descended into chaos, threatening revolution when he turned his back to take a phone call.

Then we moved on to the more serious, but no less fun business of tasting fine dark chocolate and that's when things went off the charts with an enthusiasm the club has rarely seen.

Club member Gloria Polanski brought back four bars from SOMA Chocolatemaker in Toronto (she visited their factory). This is a brand none of us had heard of before.

(The day after our meeting, club member Ken discovered that they are in fact sold in San Francisco at Fog City News)

All were 70%. Rarely has the club been so exuberant about an entire selection of chocolates in an evening.

The order of their rating is the following:

  1. Patanemo, Venezuela. Criollo
  2. Blend - Eastern Promises (Madagascar, Java and Papua New Guinea)
  3. Cahabon, Guatemala. Trinitario
  4. Apurimac, Peru. Criollo

The top rated Venezuela got a remarkable two 10s, one 9.5, and four 9s. It's lowest rating was two 7s.

The number two rated, Blend - Eastern Promises, was not far behind. Carrie outdid herself in the almost 10 years of the club and gave this bar the first 11 ever seen - appropriate as we are ready to enter our 11th year. This bar reminded both Leonard and Carrie of our dearly missed Vanuatu bar from Pralus (smokey), blended with the dark cherry flavor of Madagascar. Following this were two 10s, two 9s, etc., etc. All extremely high scores.

Michael played the contrarian and raised eyebrows around the table by giving the bar a 4.

It is always interesting when the group is unanimous in its findings and that was the case with each bar tonight. The last of the four, the Peru bar, scored only one 8.5 from Jesse, along with six 7s, three 6s, etc.

We had to ask ourselves if the over-the-top reaction tonight was not due in part to the unpleasant assortment of flavored chocolate that came first, and if this did not skew our reaction of super appreciation for the dark chocolate. It was decided that we will have to taste these bars again at a later meeting to see if they hold up in a different context. But we all agreed that the SOMA chocolate bars had an exceptional texture and consistency, resulting is a perfect "mouth feel".

Tonight we had 13 members in attendance plus one guest from Canada.

Member Clifton Baron informed the club that regretfully he could not attend this month's meeting.
Club Meeting of March, 2013

Tonight is Saint Patty's Day, so in keeping with this holiday along with six varieties of chocolate we had two Stouts and a table covered in green, with green cups, and cloverleafs everywhere.

CO: NOT for us veggies

The six chocolates tasted tonight are all fair trade.

      The results:

      1. Divine, 70%. Made in Germany
      2. Trader Joe's, 72%. Made in Belgium
      3. Sweet Riot, 70%. Organic
      4. Fearless, Midnight. 75%. Made in San Francisco. Organic
      5. L'Amourette, 72% with Hungarian Salami and Smoked Bacon. Made in San Francisco
      6. Chocovic 75%, Trinitario from Mexico. Stone Ground
Member Clifton Baron informed the club that regretfully he could not attend this month's meeting.

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