The Grands Crus
What is a Grand Cru tablet?
Regions • Rarity • Time on the tongue • Depth
Just as wine is defined by its region and vintage, cocoa is also characterised by its region of origin as well as the variety of the bean (from native cocoa trees).
Then comes the human influence: the moment of harvest is carefully chosen, the fermentation period, and the roasting to enhance the aromas of the bean.
The chocolatier’s aim is to capture as honestly as possible the identity of the cocoa bean.
By enhancing the cocoa beans, the Grand Cru tablets stand out for the time they linger on the palate and their depth of flavour.
In addition, Grand Cru cocoa is rare.
8 cocoa beans origins
A new identity
A few cocoa facts...
- The region
- The heritage of the plantation and its cocoa trees
- Cocoa bean variety
It is the combination of these three elements that determines the quality of a cocoa bean.
In the same way that the alcohol content of wine isn’t responsible for its taste, the cocoa percentage of chocolate does not directly affect its flavour.
The principal factors that influence the quality of the cocoa bean are its region, the plantation where it was grown, and the variety of the bean.
The cocoa percentage simply indicates the sugar content.
For instance, a Grands Crus tablet containing 72% cocoa beans is therefore made up of 28% sugar.
There are 4 primary cocoa varieties; Pierre Marcolini has selected 3 to make his Grands Crus chocolates:
- Criollo (Peru & Venezuela)
- Trinitario (Madagascar, China, Indonesia & Cuba)
- Forastero (Sao Tome Principe & India)
Cocoa plantations can be found in tropical regions situated between 20° north and 20° south of the Equator.
We call this zone the « Cocoa Belt ».
In order to grow properly, native cocoa trees needs:
- lots of rain (120-180cm/year)
- warm and stable temperatures (between 20 et 32°C)
- high humidity (65-100%)
- plenty of shade