"Edelbitterschokolade mit mandelnsplittern"
Sometimes things just sound better in French -- like the first sentence in The Stranger. So we'll call this bar, which Michael got for me at Cardullo's in Cambridge, MA, "Chocolate Noir aux Eclats D'amandes," because "Almonds Splits" sounds dumb and doesn't even make sense. As you can see, this bar comes in an exceedingly pretty box. Here is the basic information:
Bernard Castelain: Chocolate Noir aux Eclats D'amandes
Cocoa content: 72%
Notable ingredients: almond slivers; bourbon vanilla
Origin: Made in France, blended
Castelain's chocolate has a good snap and a very attractive appearance, with little plantain bunches imprinted onto each square. I definitely prefer this bar to his Origin chocolate, Macaibo, made purely from South American beans. This bar avoids acidity and achieves a perfect level of sweetness for 72%. I was really happy with the size and concentration of the almond slivers, though I recognize that they may be responsible for the following problem: the bar refuses to break along the perforations. This interfered greatly with my attempts to share squares and to portion out tasting samples to myself.
Mostly this bar is pretty and reliable, and not that interesting, but I feel biased against it because I had a bar with almonds last week. Still, I will grant that this is a solid dark bar and that I had a good time with it. I promise to mix things up for the next installment: no more almonds for a spell, that's for sure. I give this bar a B+.