WE ARE GOURMAND
WE’RE THE GJANDUJA PEOPLE
WE ARE OVER THE TOP
WE ARE DELIGHTED
and best of all, the rhapsodic
AT VENCHI WE ARE MAD
“At Venchi we are mad about chocolate. We love it excessively, without any limits. We love it in any way, shape or form: it in powder or in granules; hot or cold. We love it at all times – anytime – and forever more.”
Venchi’s been around since 1878. It was started by Silviano Venchi, who hailed from Turin in the Piedmont region – the city where gianduja (divine chocolate hazelnut paste/Nutella forerunner) was born. Silviano apprenticed with a confectioner at age 16. It took him four years to save enough money for two bronze cooking pots, with which he opened his own shop.
Today, Venchi is very large, but remains proud of their Piedmont origins. They call their flavors “intentionally Italian,” and offer several regional specialties, including nougatine, a dark chocolate candy filled with caramelized hazelnuts. That sounds superb! (although the package design is pretty weird and early 1900s-racist)
But the Venchi sweet I sampled today was the Cuor di Cacao extra dark chocolate, whose name translates to Heart of Cacao. Made with beans from Central and South America, this sweetheart boasts an 85% cacao percentage. The compact treat clocks in at 1.58 oz for $4.95.
Venchi claims their dark chocolate has “swarthy passion.” Their marketing folks sure do have a way with words. But I have to say they’re not wrong. Cuor di Cacao is a dense, unctuous bar richly flavored with smoke, cream, and cashew. Almost no acidity but a buttery feel. A lighter, sweeter note – vanilla, perhaps – sneaks in for the finish. I like it very much. Venchi, your ardent manifesto, swarthy passion, and sweet cocoa heart have made a lover out of me!
Found at Formaggio Kitchen
244 Huron Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
If you like chocolate, read more of my Very Dark Chocolate tasting reviews by clicking here!