It seems ages since I last sat down with some single origin chocolate from Artisan du Chocolat, and it has irked me. I’ve now caught up with all those interesting novelty Christmas chocolates and can now sit down with some good, dark chocolate.
As with their other single origin bars they’ve got an interesting design on the packaging which I see as a device to make people pick them up in store, especially in their Selfridges concessions where there’s a million other brands vying for attention. Also evident on the cover is a brief introduction to Congo and how rare cacao from Congo is – actually less than one per cent of the world’s cacao production comes from the country.
The chocolate mould used is the same as all of their other single origin chocolate bars which lends itself to a very easy snap and forces you to nibble smaller pieces, which I always think is a plus point.
The aroma has hints of cinnamon, molasses and a degree of sharp acidity but is nowhere near as forceful as other bars at the 72% level I’ve reviewed. In actual fact, as the bar heats up from the slightly colder room that I store my chocolate there is a much more pronounced balsamic vinegar aroma.
The taste has a definite molasses character but a sort of praline edge that dampens that acidity but lends some sophistication to the experience. The bar is actually a blend of trinitario and criollo, but I don’t know in what ratio – I’d expect something like 8:2 but with a fairly long conch time as it so meek. The sanguine flavour belies the 72% cocoa content which feels much more like 60%.
This mildness may disappoint people that may subconsciously think that the wildness of Congo at the 72% level would be more bitter and acidic. For those people that like a great deal of tartness I’d suggest their Jamaica 72% bar instead.