Russia has fascinated me ever since I was a child. The thought that people on the same planet could leave such contrasting, and often stark lives was just intriguing. For the past year or so I’ve been looking on eBay for some Russian chocolate to review and have always bulked at the delivery prices – and the thought that the chocolate wouldn’t actually ever arrive. But thanks to the eternally wonderful agnesrn, I’ve been sent some to review.
Of course I have absolutely no idea what the writing on the front of the packaging meant – well not until I found their website and used Google translate. Then I established that is made by a company called Babaevski and that they call it “bitter chocolate”. They do have translated ingredients too which state that the bar is at the 55% cocoa solids level and contains almond kernel mass, cognac, tea and various E numbers.
Visually it looked like very aged chocolate that had been hanging out in the air too long. I’m not actually sure if this was due to how it’s kept, transported, or just their style of chocolate, but it did look strange, almost off-putting. And this was also followed through with the texture – it was very brittle and dry but that was offset by the very interesting flavour.
I love almonds so it’s not surprising that I actually liked this too. Add in the cognac and then we’re onto a winner. We’re obviously not talking grand cru standards here. Michel Cluizel doesn’t have anything to worry about. But that sweetness at the very end had a confectionery-like appeal. It takes almost 90% of the melt to get going, but when it arrived (like my wife when we’re going out) it was worth the wait.
I’m most certainly going to explore more of the Russian chocolate market to see what it has to offer. Would I go out of my way to try this bar again? Probably not, but that’s because I expect there’s a much larger supply of Russian to explore.