Ok, that's probably an understatement. The five single origin selections of chocolate at Chapon's Paris mousse bar are probably the best in the world! That might be because of the tantalizingly rich ingredients that go inside: pure single origin chocolate, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and heavy cream.
Because cacao beans pick up their flavor profile from the terroir (climate, soil and geography), each mousse offered by the chocolatier Chapon is unique...remember, these aren't added flavor ingredients folks, these are chocolate flavor profiles coming from the soil, the species of cacao bean, the fermentation time and the roasting levels.
Trinitario and Criollo beans are the most rare and the most complex in flavor. Most mass produced chocolate comes from the hardy Forastero cacao plant that is easy to grow on mega plantations but that bean's flavor profile is bland without any complexity. Fine chocolate is like wine, artisanal crafting can make one's taste buds scream "MORE MORE" of that yummy chocolate please. Fine chocolate is pricey because criollo beans make up less than 5% of the world's production. Criollo largely comes from Venezuela which has its own political and economic issues at the moment so saving these precious trees leftover from the Aztec-Mayan cultures is a low priority.
The chocolate in Chapon's mousse bowls comes from 4 - 5 countries - currently: Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, 100 percent and Madagascar. The Venezuela version is actually VEGAN chocolate because it's made with almond milk...don't worry it's just as rich as the other ones, I could barely finish my cone yesterday so a friend had to help.
Chapon's description of the chocolate profile of the Ecuador mousse is, "Powerful fruity nose. Flower flavor like jasmine, fig and sugared citrus fruit. Round in the mouth with good bitterness and acidity."
Hint: That HERSHEY, MARS or NESTLE bar in the vending machine near you is cheap because it contains a little bit of that flat-tasting Forastero cacao powder, artificial vanilla, artificial flavor plus a type of fat called "PGPR".
I audited food companies for 15 years and know that steps are taken to make processed food as cheap as possible, so in this case, the heart healthy cacao butter gets sold at a premium to the cosmetics industry and in its place is inserted PGPR. PGPR is a yellowish, viscous liquid composed of polyglycerol esters of polycondensed fatty acids from castor oil. You remember why grandma told you to drink castor oil right?
Go for the gold. Eat Chapon's chocolate mousse the next time you're in Paris!
For the Love of Chocolate!