Plain or Filled — Lillie Belle Farms

I’m really enjoying The Chocolate Life forum. One of today’s threads announced the opening of the Lillie Belle Farms new chocolate shop storefront. It’s in Central Point, Oregon. Too bad I’m on the wrong coast; however, my beloved grandmother does live in Oregon so I can visit Lillie Belle with her some time. In the meantime, I’ll just wax nostalgic about the beautiful state.

The new Lillie Belle Farms store has windows that look right into the kitchen area where they do their magic. Here is an article about the new location. The flavored chocolates sounded enticing. Of course, I immediately searched for a plain dark chocolate bar, but without success. While their three small-batch bars have sexy names and ingredients (pistachio toffee, caramelized almond, and crunchy fire), I wanted to begin with a simple bar.

Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong place for basic bars. Do most filled-chocolate makers stay clear of plain bars? Is there a general chocolate divide between bar people and filled/flavored people? I have more research to do.

On a different note, Robert and I sampled more of those delicious Pralus squares. We sampled four and here’s what we came up with:

Nancy’s order of preference—Équateur, Papouasie, Trinidad, São Tomé & Principe

Robert’s order of preference—Papouasie, Équateur, Trinidad, São Tomé & Principe

Almost all dark bars include a description of the notes generally found in them. Certainly each palate interprets the notes differently, but the predominant description found on these Pralus squares is “persistent” and “long on the palate.” I would say this phrasing could be applied to all the Pralus. The flavors are strong and spicier than other bars like the Amano and Cluizel. These aspects were particularly apparent when we chased them down with our usual Cluizel Maralumi Noir. The Cluizel taste is much smoother and fruitier than most of the Pralus. That doesn’t mean I dislike Pralus; it just belongs to a different mood than the Cluizel.

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