Chocolate Club

by Alice Medrich


Tasting Notes: Callebaut Couverture

My notes are in order: appearance, aroma, texture, taste.  

Milk Chocolate

Medium dark reddish brown milk chocolate color.

Rich robust aroma of milk, caramel and chocolate.

Quick and exceptionally smooth creamy melt without a hint of grit, graininess or powder on the tongue. The texture is thick and smooth and long lasting without being sticky or slimy.

This chocolate reminds me of how only select blends of strong dark coffee beans can stand up brilliantly to a dose of heavy cream. Here, the flavor of intensely concentrated creamy milk with caramel and butterscotch tones and a nuance of toasted malt are perfectly blended with chocolate. The result is rich and balanced, with flavors perfectly blended, deep and mellow rather than sweet and cloying. There is no jarring edge, flavor spikes, or sharpness to interrupt the flavor. The finish is very long and lingering. Satisfying. Yummy.



Dark brown color.

Strong vibrant dark chocolate aroma, with a slight nuance of coffee.

Medium hard snap. Smooth fairly quick, even melt and fine texture on the palate.

This chocolate is full of flavor. Straightforward strong and classically bittersweet—but not bitter or harsh—with a hint of espresso. A very subtle fruitiness is neither acidic nor tart. The absence of vanilla adds surprising power, while a whisper of tannin, spice, and perhaps anise, make this chocolate lively and interesting. A great chocolate to nibble or use in dessert recipes.

—Alice Medrich


Couverture Notes: Callebaut

According to Aztec legend, the god Quetzalcoatl gifted the cocoa tree to man. Whether or not this is true, ever since the Europeans tasted the Indians "xocolatl", and started to make chocolate themselves, the cocoa tree has left an indelible mark on culture, culinary traditions, and the world economy. Quetzalcoatl's legacy created quite a stir, and still has considerable impact today.

One of the proudest heirs of Quetzalcoatl is undoubtedly Callebaut. In 1850, shortly after the invention of solid chocolate, the Callebaut family founded a remarkable company. It consisted of a mill, a dairy, a brewery, and a mineral water bottling plant. In 1911, the company started to concentrate on manufacturing chocolate bars and tablets. Partiality for cocoa products increased incessantly and in 1925, Callebaut began producing its own chocolate. Callebaut developed specialized skills in chocolate coating manufacture, and sold its products to fellow manufacturers. Other activities were abandoned, and the company adopted as its objective the pursuit of perfection in chocolate manufacture.

After World War II, Callebaut built a strong reputation as the chocolate couverture specialist and began exporting to European countries. The 1980s, one hundred and thirty years since its founding, saw the transition from a family-owned Belgian company into a part of a multinational group of companies.

Alice Medrich  

Chocolates (September 1998)


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