Criollo is commonly seen as the most delectable of cacao varieties, with Trinitario and Forastero being the others. So on that token this Madagascan bar should be pretty special. Also this cacao was grown on the Åkesson’s own family plantation in the Sambirano Valley in the north west of the island where cacao has been grown since 1920 and where only about two tons per year of Criollo is harvested. I just love this solid connection between the cacao growers and the makers.
Visually I loved this bar. The packaging, as it’s very much down the continental, square format than the oblong. For some reason it just feels more special being this shape. What also contributes to that sense is the design of the packaging being only adorned with one colour: red with the black and white giving it a robust appearance.
The bar inside was polished and smooth and the Scandinavian Å embossed into its centre. It certainly has a classic, non-pretentious feel.
The aroma has a fruity acidity, much like pork chop and apple sauce where the well-cooked fat gives it a lovely sharp edge. It is fairly strong, but nothing like the marmite or tobacco aromas that other bars can exhibit.
I thought the flavour was magical also. It’s fairly mild, but incredibly nutty, almost praline in character for top notes, and the salty pork and apple hanging around in the background. But it really a red fruit bar, there’s no denying it. And this is why I love reviewing chocolate. Many people would hold up this 75% bar alongside, say the 75% Cuba Pralus and expect them to be very similar. But they’re two completely different beasts. I absolutely adore this bar, whereas, I can take or leave the Pralus.
Overall a lovely balance of sharp salt notes with an intense sweetness