Merz – Macaé 62% (Valrhona)

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When we visited the Merz shop/restaurant in Chur, I spotted this chocolate bar. What makes it unusual, is the wrapping. It’s wrapped in a metal box like the crayons I used to have in school. Looks simple and elegant (but might be a bit an overshoot for something perishable like a chocolate bar… now I have to think about how to use this box once the bar is gone).

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On the back, the ingredients are found. They are printed on these standard bakery ingredients stickers (is that a rule that they need to look exactly like that and are printed with a laser printer? Half a life ago, when I was working in a bakery, they had the same stickers. Seriously).

And the list of ingredients reads as follows: dark chocolate couverture (Valrhona, min 62%), consisting of cocoa beans from Brasil, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, natural vanilla extract.

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This bar is made with couverture from Valrhona. I assume, it’s made of this. I’m not sure what exactly was put in by Merz. But inside the bar is a note by Roni Merz(CEO of Merz), where he states the motivation to present a personal selection of great couvertures from all around the world.
This is completely fine by me, I don’t get my hands on Valrhona chocolate that often (I’m not actively looking, I’m anyway more buying chocolate that just passes my way anyway).

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The bar looks beautiful. It has a warm glowing brown. It has a simple mold, with the Merz logo on the lower right side. The bar has a good snap (and the hard box makes it easy to break off pieces anyway.)

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The chocolate has an excellent melt. It has sharp hints, and is fruity. The taste is not boring, and has a good tartness/sweetness balance. (my taste descriptions are still really bad. This says Valrhona about this bar: Macaé is characterised by exceptional melting smoothness bringing out freshness and fineness in the tasting. Charming with dry yellow fruits notes at first, Macaé captivates the palate with its woody, peppery and toasted aromas unveiling a bitter-sweet and black tea hinted finish. Sounds good, right?)

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(and I need to find a reuse purpose for the box soon, the bar is vanishing fast! Since it became colder again, I eat again a lot of chocolate)

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2 thoughts on “Merz – Macaé 62% (Valrhona)

  1. Ever since Valrhona cleverly started to market and differentiate couverture chocolate as “Grand Cru” in order to signify a terroir – and thus ask consumers to fork out a premium for the exclusive beans that go into making fine chocolate – most of the bean-to-bar chocolate industry has sadly moved in this direction of attempting to create perceived value and charge a premium for it (an undeservedly excessive one in some cases). Fancy packaging is naturally a part of this progression. But one must ask oneself what the true worth of these chocolates would be without all this fancy packaging and marketing hype. There is no doubt that the French (and Swiss ;-)) excel at making couverture chocolate but the question I always ask myself is this – what if the governments in Latin American countries that grow the finest beans (e.g. Venezuela and Ecuador to name but a couple) issued edicts that no longer permitted any foreign country from importing this seemingly precious commodity so as to shift production to the country of origin and thus secure better margins for growers and allow a home-grown industry to flourish, then what effect would this have on prices for these “luxury” goods and on their quality. For example, Pacari, a company based in Ecuador, by my palate (I realise I am making a personal statement when I state this) manufactures couverture that is far superior to anything that Valrhona makes in its over-rated and over-hyped “Grand Crus” range. What then?

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