Ahead of me finishing a guest post about which nation has made the biggest impact on the world of chocolate: America or England, I thought I’d review this God Save The Chocolate bar from Artisan du Chocolat. With only a few manufactures actually making chocolate from bean-to-bar in this country, with Red Star, Willie Harcourt Cooze it was nice to see Gerard Coleman turn his hand at the art of making chocolate from the bean as its seems most actually manufacture from couverture. I know Hotel Chocolat have their own plantation in Saint Lucia, but I don’t know if the processing takes place there or here, furthermore, Wikipedia states that Thornton’s do, but I was sure that they also import the couverture. And of course, Cadbury, Fry’s and Green & Blacks not being British anymore and Divine processing in Ghana.
I’m a glutton for any chocolate that’s been labelled as “limited edition”. I actively seek bars from small producers around the world that you can’t normally get in this country, so it was nice to reverse that trend and actually try a British limited edition chocolate bar where the roasting, winnowing, grinding, refining, conching, tempering and wrapping have all taken place in this country (I believe). Of course the growing, harvesting, fermenting and drying can’t happen here as we just don’t have the climate.
So what about this bar? Well, as usual it had funky design with pictures of black cabs, bulldogs and the famous BT telephone boxes, whilst on the reverse side there was a wonderful bit of a story about the bar – including how they use sugar sourced from the only independent English importer of sugar products and milk from the British Isles. What I can’t find out, however, is the source of the beans. I suppose this may change over time?
Now I stepped out of my usual comfort zone to give this milk chocolate bar. I rarely do so, but as it sounded unusual I thought I’d give it a whirl. As is normally the case with Artisan du Chocolat it comes in at a light 45g but sets you back £2.75 which is about half the size of most bars, and even less than the Amano bars so it doesn’t feel all that substantial in the hand. But with milk chocolate I feel this is a plus. If there’s too much and the chocolate is too sweet I still feel inclined to eat it all. Actually, in one weekend (when I was a teenager) I ate one of those huge bars of Cadbury chocolate that must have weighted a couple of kilos. Not good.
The colour was wonderfully light and rich and actually reminded me of the chocolate iPhone case that I reviewed earlier this year, and even the style of the chocolate pieces was almost identical. Thankfully it tasted a damn site better! Well, leaving that aspect to one side for a moment, the aroma was very milky, but had a strange acidic note. I won’t actually stay what it reminded me at first thought as that may be a touch unfair, but if anyone else has tried it, then could you let me know what you thought of the aroma?
Back on to the flavour. I actually loved it. It was very light and sweet with a milk powder edge and a slightly peppery under-current. You can definitely pick up the sugar in it, but it’s far from being anything like the unpleasant Galaxy taste. The texture also matches the flavour in that it’s light and incredibly moorish. If you wanted a break from dark chocolate and wanted something that’s not as sharp, punchy or dry then you should really try this bar. As a dark chocolate lover, I was actually very pleased with this bar. I’d now certainly buy some of their milk chocolate next time I put an order in!