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One of the best milk chocolate blends out there, the Valrhona Milk Jivara Lactée 40% Bean has a very distinctive flavor. It’s mild, but unapologetically chocolatey, with notes of caramel and vanilla, and whispers of malt and brown sugar.
Incredibly easy to work with, this baking chocolate is perfect for making glaze for donuts, as a melty ingredient in chocolate pancakes, in smores, or even eaten straight out of the bag in a moment of craving. If you’re looking for a more adulty treat, try making a chocolate Viennois with Whiskey.
The Nacional cocoa bean is a rare variety found in Ecuador and Peru. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Nacional cocoa bean was considered to be the most coveted cacao in the world by European chocolatiers because of its complex flavor and floral aroma. But this golden age was abruptly interrupted in 1916, when a disease devastated Nacional trees throughout the country. This forced the hybridization of Ecuadorian cacao with other varieties. By the 21st century, people believed the pure Nacional to be extinct. That is, until 2009, when researchers found six trees to be 100% genetically Nacional. And in 2013, nine more were found.
Store your chocolate feves in a cool, dark place, ideally between 18 to 24°C. You can use the refrigerator, but place the chocolate in an airtight container to keep the moisture and humidity out—and retain its full range of flavors, of course!