I haven’t reviewed any milk chocolate in a long while. It’s probably because the last review was of the distinctly average Welsh Mountain Chocolate Bar. So from the ridiculous to the sublime – well almost.
Generally I can take or leave milk chocolate, it just doesn’t do much for me as I much prefer the complexity and robustness of dark chocolate – for me it has more character. But the pedestal I put a good few dark chocolate bars on compared to milk chocolate is just as a result of the fact that I’ve just not reviewed much milk chocolate that excites me. This Amano Jembrana milk chocolate has shaken the foundations of that prejudice.
As with the other Amano bars (Chuao 70%, Ocumare 70%) I’ve reviewed, this Jembrana 30% looks understatedly fantastic. It may be a “handbag-sized” bar of chocolate, but its packaging packs some character – this time in green. To me it’s crucial to know the bar’s story. On the back we’re told that the cocoa comes from far off shores of the Jembrana region on the Indonesian island of Bali:
I’ll go into more detail about Balinese cocoa production and the challenges they face, but for now I can say this milk chocolate bar which comes from their cocoa is a fantastic creation. Within the golden wrapper it appears to be a fairly rugged-looking bar. It’s got that handmade feel and doesn’t have anywhere near as much shine as their other bars. Galaxy may use palm oil to give their chocolate a gloss, but that’s just plastic surgery of the chocolate world. Natural beauty is best and this bar is perhaps the pinnacle of unflavoured (other than a touch of natural vanilla) milk chocolate and would put a good showing in the Miss World of the milk chocolate scene.
Quite strangely there is a slight acidic aroma. It does have an edge of cheap tomato sauce to it. But seeing as I’ve probably eaten my weight in dark chocolate, a bit of an acidic aroma isn’t going to put me off any real milk chocolate. The strange characteristic is that this sharpness isn’t carried through to the flavour at all. It’s a strange dichotomy.
The flavour is sweet as you would expect from milk chocolate. But there’s an edge of milk powder to it and a fairly strong honey note. Perhaps it’s this aspect that I like the most. There’s also a Moroccan element to it that I just can’t place, it comes from a muted characteristic that I just can’t place into words – utterly delightful however.
The texture is sensational. The melt may be quick but it’s like short, but robust sexual activity: fantastically pleasurable and ultimately memorable. I’ve never known why some people say they prefer chocolate to sex. Perhaps this bar has enlightened me a touch?
I was thinking that this bar is a bit too sweet. Having virtually demolished it all, I think not. Is it the best bar of unflavoured milk chocolate I’ve had? Quite probably yes!