What will £4.75 buy you these days? Four copies of the Sunday Times? I pint and a half of your favourite beer? Or a day pass on the London Underground? Well it could buy you 50g of the smoothest, simplest, most ‘clear’ chocolate that you’ll taste for a good while.
For some time I’ve been reviewing an abundance of chocolate truffles, ganaches, selection boxes and novelty chocolates. But as I’ve been doing it, I’ve been craving normal, unflavoured bars of dark chocolate. And when I was looking though my chocolate collection I came across this Beschle Carenero Superior bar and thought it would be a perfect way to get ‘back to basics’.
I must say that this Beschle Carenero Superior bar is the most delightfully packaged bar of chocolate that I think I’ve ever seen. The Askinosie San Jose Del Tambo Dark Chocolate Nibble Bar was great, but this bar was on a completely different level. Instead of looking rustic, wholesome and New-Labour; this bar looks more suited to a cross-party debate in the House of Lords.
The bar is packaged in a slightly off navy blue textured card which has had detail embossed in gold. Within is information regarding the bean and location of the cocoa plantation. And what is interesting is that you can basically pinpoint the location where the cocoa was grown – just to the East of Caracas in Venezuela:
This chocolate is made with not only single origin but also single strain cocoa with the Trinitaro bean being used to make this bar of chocolate. Even though Trinitaro is thought to be fusion of the Forastero and the Criollo bean varieties and it would be easy to think that the harshness and character of those beans would be muted, there is, however, still a great deal of variety achievable in its flavour – depending on where it was grown, how it was fermented, dried, conched etc., which in this case has led to a well-balanced flavour.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you unwrap the chocolate from the bar will be its shine. This bar is not as shiny as the Chocolate Cafe 70% Dark Chocolate Bar. But there is a very good reason for this. There are only three ingredients in the chocolate bar: 70% Cocoa mass, cocoa butter and cane sugar and most certainly no soya lecithin which is used to control the crystallisation of the sugars and keep a smooth texture. Even though soya lecithin isn’t toxic, it’s still nice to get back to basics as much as we can.
With this lack of additives leaves a slightly more granular chocolate on close inspection and in normal circumstances it wouldn’t even be noticeable. It’s certainly the case that what it lacks in being completely viscous, it makes up for in sensory delight.
The nose is incredibly aromatic. There’s an almost ethanol or sweet perfume aroma which is not at all unpleasant and is somewhat similar to some of the Domori bars I’ve reviewed before. The flavour is sweet and reminds me of the flowery nature of Love Hearts with a sweet pea character. This bar is the virgin of the chocolate world – unadulterated by the temptations of the use of additives to improve performance, sensuous in its naivety and full of play. The Beschle Carenero Superior most certainly isn’t a tarty, promiscuous bar of chocolate. It’s soft, gentle and wants to be appreciated for what it is.
I can’t really fault it at all. The price maybe, but I think £4.75 is a price worth paying for such naked, simple satisfaction. And please don’t tarnish with alcohol, nor cheat on its flavours with accompaniments. You only need this bar and time to be in chocolate heaven.