They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and I can certainly say that’s true when we’re talking about chocolate. I’ve had a few months off campaigning about ethical production of chocolate, but I’ve still kept up my passion for promoting fine chocolate – just to a smaller audience now. But as I rattle around the house this evening I’ve found a bar I’ve been intrigued about for a while: The Bonnat Kaori Bresil that I imported from Germany.
At first, I thought ‘Kaori’ referred to a version of an Indian word which has dominated the world: curry. Unfortunately, for me it is a Japanese word that means “fragrance”. This peculiar connection is that there’s a fairly prominent Japanese community in Brazil and the use of the word is in the chocolate context is supposed to relate to the variety of cultures that cacao grows in but which shares a common purpose: excellence. A romantic notion it may be, but how good is this chocolate in reality?
Bonnat, of course, is renowned for rich and creamy chocolate. Chocolate that’s been purposefully conched, and that’s no different with chocolate. I was never going to be bowled over by either a high roast or a short time to keep that brutish acids in. Conversely, this is an utterly fantastic chocolate that wraps its loving arms around you. It’s not sexual or sensual. It’s caring, considerate, put the kettle on and take the rubbish out for you lovely. It’s classic, sophisticated and refined. More Classic FM than Radio 1.
Of course, I did the review the wrong way round. I should have visually assessed the chocolate. I should have let the aroma set the scene. But in a fit of pure excitement I approached this chocolate in the mind of someone that just loves chocolate, I wanted to immerse myself in it rather than functionally review it. That, of course, is the eternal dilemma we face. To right that wrong I can tell you that the colour of the chocolate is actually a fair bit darker than you might have experienced from a Bonnat 75% dark while pour and moulding are just as superb as usual.
The aroma is certainly incongruent with the flavour – and it always seems to be the way with Bonnat, I just don’t know how he consistently makes the aroma so disjointed from the flavour. Those notes are not pronounced nor obvious. They’re subtle and mysterious. The cream is the most evident of them all – not to be confused with a texture context but actually a rich, clotted cream flavour – a long with some light fruit notes. I get flashes of cape gooseberry. But that’s all. Simplicity is key here!
It’s not a rambling chocolate. A story. A biography nor a bodice-ripping episode of Game of Thrones. It’s just a nice, quiet sit down in the garden with the sun shining and the kids in bed. What more could you want?
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