Francois Pralus – Indonésie Criollo – 75% (****)

Maison Pralus was one of the companies who opened my eyes for good chocolate. Several years ago their Dominican bar overwhelmed me with massive amounts of unexpected flavors and instantly made me fall in love with origin chocolate.

The Pralus line up probably is one of the best available brands who make exciting chocolate. I found their bars in a Gourmet supermarket in Brussels, a welcome sight right next to industrial style chocolate.

Somehow the Asian origin bars always draw my attention. The origin chocolate market focuses heavily on South American terroirs. No surprise as it is the native place of cocoa. But as colonization expanded around the globe, cocoa followed the traders and got spread out all over the equator. From South America, over Africa all the way to Asia.
And Asian cocoa is exciting. It is different! Exotic. It brings flavors that aren’t found easily in other origins.

I opened this bar with great expectations. But did it deliver as expected?


The bar is wrapped in gold colored aluminum foil and a paper sleeve. The art work is standard Pralus style. The elegant name of the french producer is imprinted in the middle, while above it a small map of the world shows the location of the origin, complete with coordinates. They put you right in the middle of Java when you google them. A nice touch.

Inside the bar of brown gold. Surpriginsly light colored. It is a pretty straightforward rectangular piece of chocolat, scored in little parts. Yet one corner doesn’t have the scoring and shows once more the nice François Pralus logo.

Bean: Criollo

origin: Indonesia – Java

Maker: Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Pralus – Roanne

France Price: 4 euro – 100 g (ROB – Brussels)

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Color: Light brown.

Aroma: Clear heavy Tobacco, burned wood

Taste: Imminent darkness with heavy earthy flavors reminding me of mushrooms and wood. The typical dark roast profile of Pralus comes through and brings forth leather flavors and a taste I can only describe as autumn wood ground with a hint of tobacco. The texture of the chocolate is as smooth as can be, without clinging to the palate. Though the added cacao butter subdues the flavors somewhat. Brown sugar notes sweeten the flavor slightly and counterplay the dark flavors, allowing them to open up. There is a faint green banana floating through the aroma, creating some dryness on the tongue. Near the end of the melt, a touch of coffee pops up. The aftertaste is heavily loaded with gorgeous chocolate and focuses further on the earthy notes and smoky wood flavors.

It is a chocolate with a distinct earthy character. Yet it is very tasteful and doesn’t overwhelm the palate and remains highly enjoyable. Pralus skillfully keeps the aromas in check and delivers a very good tasting Asian origin bar.

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