I’m now getting down to my last selection of chocolate bars I bought from Artisan du Chocolat and it’s been a very interesting journey around the chocolate world over the past few months. I must say that some of them I loved, and others were a touch too mild, but with this Rio Doce 72% from Brazil is a humdinger – in a strange way.
As with the other single origin bars this has the same simplistic packaging with a picture that depicts its character. Here Gerard and his team have put an image of a bar exploding which faithfully depicts the fact that this bar is bursting with with citrus flavour. On the reverse you’ll find an interesting piece of information that explains that the cacao comes from the banks of the River Doce in Brazil and is purchased direct from the local growers which goes someway to support the indigenous population.
An interesting thing is that ‘River Doce’ actually means ‘Sweet River’, which this bar certainly isn’t. The aroma is as acidic as any bar I’ve witnessed over the past few years and comes across as hybrid of both salty water and orange zest.
The flavour is a strange affair. It has a mellow foretaste which exhibits a damson characteristic, it then blends into a caramel tone and then the very sharp, under-ripe orange flavour come through. It does actually leave your mouth very dry and tart which lends it more to being of a ‘nibble’ chocolate in the Japanese sense – where you’d just ‘take’ one piece per evening and savour it.
This bar is lacking some depth and sophistication, but if you are on the lookout for robust, stark flavours at a very reasonable price then don’t look any further, you’ve found it here.