High quality chocolate is not just for the connoisseur, it’s for anyone who appreciates the resonance of quality products, or who on principle eschews food processed on vast industrial scales, or who simply enjoys lots and lots of flavor. Anyone who knows they like chocolate, and many people who believe they don’t because it is too sweet or too cloying, will appreciate craft chocolate, and turning such people on to it is one of the most satisfying parts of my job. Yet one of the most common misconceptions among regular folks who don’t consider themselves chocolate connoisseurs is that they are “not sophisticated enough” to appreciate the subtle differences between origins.
I’m sympathetic with them. I’ve eaten several thousand different chocolate bars and more than a hundred different origins along the way, and I still don’t know what to expect when I eat an origin. Someone asks, what does Ecuador taste like, and I have to resort to pretty gross generalizations as I try to lump the coastal Manabi region in with inland El Oro or any number of other regions or new powerhouse producers like Camino Verde. Rather than stumble my way through a complicated explanation to a complicated tapestry of cacao flavors, I hand them the Pralus Mini Pyramid of the 10 Tropics, and let them suss it out for themselves.
This mini version of the half-kilo Pralus Pyramid is comprised of ten Neapolitan-sized squares of single origin dark chocolate, bunched together with a bit of twine. The bundle invites you on a world tour of many of the different origins produced by Francois Pralus.
There may be chocolate makers whose approach to chocolate making is more suited to exploring the differences of different origins. Domori, for one, has a lighter roast profile and in general seems to find higher peaks and valleys of flavor. American makers like Rogue or Dick Taylor or Dandelion or Woodblock or Mana really hit it out of the park when it comes to underscoring the differences between origins, yet they don’t have enough origins to take you on a tour all under the umbrella of a single maker. Other makers like Chocolate Bonnat offer many origins, but they don’t offer a package deal for tasting them, so you’d need to buy ten full-sized bars to take a proper tour. Pralus is unique in thinking things through for the end consumer and assembling a sampler that costs about ten bucks.
Launched in 2003, the Tropical Pyramid has become Pralus’s flagship product. Embark on a trip to Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, the Sao Tomé islands or Trinidad, Venezuela, Tanzania and also Ghana, Madagascar, Colombia and Ecuador.
Perfect for pure, quick, personal pleasure. These mini pyramids are 75% cocoa, so there is nothing but goodness in each bar.
About François Pralus:
Pralus Chocolatier is one of France’s four remaining bean-to-bar chocolate makers (along with Michel Cluizel, Valrhona, and Bonnat), a true chocolate aficionado. Proprietor Francois Pralus is hunts the world around cacao beans in search of flavors and other qualities of interest. Pralus roasts his cacao darker than some chocolate makers, making for a denser style of flavors. The hard work, ingenuity, and palate of François Pralus have been rewarded with the most prestigious National and International awards — Pralus won the Grand Prix d’Excellence International du Chocolate in both 1996 and 1997.