I first read about the Tuscan chocolatier Amedei in Chloe Doutre-Roussel's book The Chocolate Connoisseur. The idea of an Italian chocolatier providing world-class chocolate was almost unthinkable, certainly by several countries with long histories of chocolate-making, until the late eighties, when the brother and sister team of Alessio and Cecelia Tessieri used their passion and enthusiasm for chocolate to begin to create such a chocolate. In 2004, they released one of the jewels in their line, a bar made from beans from the legendary Venezuelan cacao plantation called Chuao, which they had won the exclusive rights to after years of effort. The effort involved going to the plantation, talking to the owners and growers; now even other chocolatiers are doing so with other cacao plantations.
What can one say about chocolate that has been rated the best in the world? Chocolate, like wine, is defined by your palate, so I kept that in mind when I first tried Amedei's chocolate. One random Saturday, I was in Kitchener with my friend, and we decided to go to Vincenzo's, a purveyor of fine foods, and there I had the pleasure to discover that Amedei was doing a demonstration there (discover because it really was a small stand in a corner of the store); I talked to one Margot Silver-Dumas for about an hour, and sampled many of their offerings (being simultaneously in heaven with the taste of most of the samples). All I can say is Wow, and Amedei's reputation as one of the finest chocolatiers in the world is well deserved. Though, I didn't get to sample Chuao at that time, but it did convince me to spend the $10 for the 50 g bar.
This bar is at 70% cacao content, and its ingredient listing is short, allowing you to taste the flavour of the cacao bean; cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla.
How does it taste? According to Amedei, it's supposed to taste like plums and red fruits, to me it tasted like molasses at first with it becoming more like raisins later. It smelled wonderful, snapped great, and tasted sublime. Certainly a tiny piece of heaven, and well worth the high price.