The Sao Tome bar has a wonderfully fresh, intense nose with notes of fruit and spice. The fruit and spice dominate the palate, which includes a nice bitter and sweet balance and a long, nicely acidic finish. Sao Tome, like the other Pralus single-origin bars, has a cocoa-mass content of 75% and a touch of soy lecithin for smoothness.
The beans used for this chocolate are of the Forastero variety, hailing from 0 degrees 19 minutes North, and 6 degrees 43 minutes East, which puts the plantation on the island of São Tomé off the west coast of Africa - and just to the northeast of the point where the Equator and the International Dateline meet.
About the Producer: Pralus
François Pralus is one of France's three remaining bean-to-bar chocolate makers, and he is a true chocolate aficionado. He is expert at discerning the finest beans and the best characteristics of each type of bean. As one does with wine, he can discuss chocolate's particular origin characteristics - such as the powerful and heady nose, aromas of burnt butter and liquor of the Venezuela Trinitario bean chocolate; or the fresh nose and slightly minty and fruity flavor of the Madagascar Criollo bean chocolate. The hard work, ingenuity, and palate of François Pralus have been rewarded with the most prestigious National and International awards; he won the Grand Prix d'Excellence International du Chocolat in both 1996 and 1997.
Since his father opened a pastry shop there in 1948, the town of Roanne, France has linked the name Pralus with top-quality confections. François took over the shop from his father in the 1980s, adding chocolate to the Pralus realm in 1992. Since then, Pralus's perfectly crafter, top-quality bean to bar
, single-origin, artisan chocolate has enjoyed international success.
About Pralus Cocoa Beans
Cocoa beans only grow in the tropics within 20 degrees latitude north and south of the Equator, and François has circumnavigated the tropics for his beans, finding the best available Forastero, Trinitario, and of course Criollo. No less than 18 kinds of beans are imported from Central America, South America, Madagascar, São Tomé and Principé, Vanuatu, Africa, and Indonesia for his chocolate bars. Some of his blends reach a cocoa content of 80%. In 2004, Pralus invested in his own plantation on Madagascar's island of Nosy Be, a most unusual step for a chocolate-maker! We look forward to the first harvest around 2010…
No More Beans...
Oh yes, one more note . . . When François uses up all of the cocoa beans that he's bought for the year, he stops making chocolate, unlike other producers who might compromise quality by going in search of what is left on the market. Not Pralus!