Test Test: Amano Chocolate

Who doesn't love chocolate, right? Well, my wife for one. She's sucrose intolerant (lacks the enzyme sucrase), so the sugar makes her sick. Can't say I blame her then. It's a good opportunity to try out some fancy chocolate when she's out of town. What can I say? I live on the edge.

I picked up some Amano chocolate over at Amazon. The shipping there was a dollar cheaper than direct from the site, so I went all cheapskate. I bought one each of the Madagascar and Ocumare. To my pleasant surprise it arrived the very next day (04/10). How's that for quality service!

Alas I decided to wait until Thursday (04/12) to eat it so that I could share it with some friends. It was tough to wait of course. I had to hide the chocolate in the cupboard and forget about it.

Having read the story behind the chocolate (which is truly "behind" the chocolate, being printed on the back label), I was curious to know if I would taste the "fruity and floral notes". I know that my palate has improved over the last few years, but I'm by no means an expert. Surprisingly though, I did. The Madagascar has a distinct citrus flavor. It's quite peculiar to think that those flavors come from the chocolate themselves and not from an added flavor.

Both chocolates where extremely smooth. Both were also free of any blemishes on the surface, which is rather what I expected. I didn't notice much of a snap to either.

The only negative comment I can make is that the Madagascar has a slight bitterness to it as it first begins to melt. The sweetness and fruitiness quickly overwhelms it. I imagine if you chewed it straight off that you wouldn't get the initial bitterness.

To compare these chocolates, I also tasted a Nestle Chocolatier 53% dark chocolate. I had previously eaten the Nestle and would say that in general it was good. Quite a chocolate flavor. It snaps well, isn't blemished, and is pretty smooth. It's amazing though how going to a 53% chocolate could taste like I was drinking simple syrup. Well, perhaps not that extreme but the extra 17% sugar was easily noticeable. I also picked up a hint of a wheat flavor, almost like rice krispies or malt balls. I hadn't noticed in my previous samplings.

On a lark, on of my friend's produced a Nestle Crunch miniature. While it wasn't pure chocolate, I tried to isolate just the chocolate flavor among the crunchy filling. Let me tell you, that was difficult. There was hardly any chocolate flavor to begin with. Going from the Amano was a huge leap, and really not worth it. With the Crunch, pretty much all you get it calories.

At $6 for 56g, the chocolate seems a bit steep. I mean, that's nearly $50 a pound (or $107 per kilo). I was really worried I would gobble it all up and feel empty. The experience was much different. It was strangely filling, despite each piece being only a few grams. The fact that it was so packed with flavor more than made up for the size, and eating all of it would have been overkill. That was actually a refreshing feeling, since that's the diet I'm tending toward these days, a diet I might add on which I have lost 3-4 pounds over the last year. And I've never eaten so much cream in my life. Mmmm.




Well technically it was Amano who got the chocolate to me. You guys just played middle-man. But you did a heck of a job at it. In fact, I guess Amano forgot to acknowledge shipping, so Amazon sent me a warning that my product hadn't shipped within the expected time frame. I think I sent a note to Amano so they would mark me as complete. Shortly thereafter Amazon told me my order was shipped.

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