// A guest post now from my friend Michelle who runs the very informative and interesting LBGT Blog – Queeried. I always like to get other people’s views on chocolate but there was one bar that I just couldn’t work out what the fuss was about and that’s the Bonnat Hacienda El Rosario (which I believe was the first single estate dark chocolate bar???) – thankfully Michelle’s views were very similar to my own. //
Coming packaged in a simple, yet elegant looking white wrapper which has something of a retro storybook feel about it, I have to admit that the first thing I thought about when I saw this bar of chocolate wasn’t it’s Venezuelan heritage or French labelling but about whether I might find a ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory in it.
Sadly upon opening there was no ticket to be found but as soon as I tasted the chocolate it became obvious why not. This bar of chocolate is as far away from the artificial and fun concoctions of a factory like Willy Wonka’s as you can get and something made to be taken a whole lot more seriously. And that’s because like most other high cocoa content chocolate bars the Hacienda El Rosario is a bar that has a real depth to it.
Have said that though don’t think this means that this Bonnat bar tastes the same as every other dark chocolate bar on the market. For both better and worse it doesn’t, and that’s obviously from the first bite which I have to say was a pleasant surprise not having that immediate heaviness and bitterness that can knock out your tastebuds the minute you bite down on it.
And bite down on it you definitely have to. Producing something of spectacular earthquake kind of crack across the chocolate when I tried to cut it, I should have expected this wasn’t going to be easy on the teeth but I have to admit it took me so by surprise it was only when I took my second bite that I was really able to take in the clever way that this chocolate develops in flavour.
Beginning with something a burnt woody type flavour you often find with high cocoa content bars I admit I was fooled into thinking it was about to speed me on down the road to bitter bitter land. The reality though was just as I beginning to question whether this worked or not an interesting shift occurred as the flavour moved from deep, drying flavour to something far more fruity and black cherry like. Clever and acting to give the chocolate something of a lift without actually taking it widely off it’s deep, luxurious taste, it was something of a surprise but a very welcome one!
So what are my overall thoughts on the Bonnat Hacienda El Rosario bar? Concerning my overall thoughts of it, I can’t say I wasn’t impressed by it – the developing flavours and texture were both intriguing, however I can’t say that either stood out to the extent that I would put this at the top of my list of dark chocolates. The texture that makes your teeth have to do a workout every time you take a bite soon shifts from being interesting to a tad annoying and whilst the development of the flavour of the Hacienda El Rosario is intriguing, it’s more your high end high street restaurant than Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck.
Would I eat it again if I saw it in my local luxury chocolate store? Sure. Would I spend time trying to seek it again? Probably not.