You could say I’m a train spotter in the chocolate sense. I just love finding new bars. Unlike train spotting I’m actually able to meet the chocolatiers that produce the chocolate that most others haven’t spotted yet. At the inaugural Acadamy of Chocolate Conference Richard from Chocolate and Love let me sample this Wild Bolivian by Rasmus Bo Bojesen. I was given just a small taster then in much the same way as I expect a cocaine dealer would give to hook potential clients. And I admit I became addicted – to the chocolate! I just hope it doesn’t lead to a spiral of crime and deceit on my behalf as I seek the funds to service my Bojesen habit.
You see, there are many dark chocolate bars, even other Criollo ones that provide that textbook definition intense flavour. But there are very few that are produced with such innocence and rawness at the same time so that many people never truly get the chance to try ‘real’ dark chocolate. There are brands and commercial entities that fill the mass-market, but there are limited number of artisan chocolatiers who put their heart and soul into creating ‘real’ chocolate. For me real chocolate is chocolate that’s made with as few ingredients as possible – ideally just cacao beans and cane sugar. Far too many ‘chocolatiers’ mask their inability to create fine chocolate by adding vanilla, emulsifiers and various other distractions. Bojesen doesn’t.
For those that don’t know [as I frantically research myself], Rasmus Bo Bojesen’s background includes working for a number of French Michelin-starred restaurants and has turned his attention to producing fine chocolate for your delight and that fine culinary backaground does show through with this bar.
The bar I tried at the conference was his third iteration but the bar I’m reviewing here is his fifth. I couldn’t tell you the difference as I only had a small amount then, but now I can tell you it offers a great, punchy experience. The aroma is fairly salty and is supported by a nicotine edge that may deter weak-willed chocolate lovers.
The texture is bound not to be incredibly smooth as there’s no emulsifiers used. Even so, Rasmus has managed to create a bar with an incredibly fine structure which would leave to think that this bar has a long conch time. But it’s the rawness of the flavours that I found most appealing.
When I first tried it in front of Rasmus I said it tasted of “chocolate” in which I meant that there were no distractions, no floating flavours but just a great, direct flavour that didn’t distract you from the core cacao flavour. It does still offer a journey, however. The natural acidity of the cacao does slowly come though and increase in intensity with the melt – at which stage you’re left with a intensly natural bitterness.
With most dark chocolate, that cacao flavour DNA has been removed or masked. Too often the natural bitterness that encouraged those in the Amazonian basin to revere the cacao pod, and latterly the bean itself, has been compromised to make the bar more commercial and allow for greater appeal. With comercialisation comes compromise – its inherent with chocolate making. But with this bar, that original flavour is more evident.
Is it the perfect bar of chocolate? I would say that it’s impossible to say as my chocolate tastes change with the time of the day, how much sleep I’ve had, what I’ve also eaten in the day, the weather, if I had a good day or bad. But what I do know that there are very few dark chocolate bars I’d rather have on a day of bland flavours and non-events. This Wild Bolivian bar will give you a jolt and a kick start if you were searching for one.