Charles Chocolatier 70% Tablette

James Chocolatier West African Couverture Chocolate

The problem with buying chocolate in a hurry is that you often end up buying rubbish. If you combine that with being in France and not being able to speak French to ask questions about origins, beans, provenance etc., then you’re just bound to regret your purchase. I bought this Charles Chocolatier 70% Tablette when I was visiting Paris for Salon du Chocolat late last year and was dashing around trying to traverse the city using print-outs and Google Maps on my iPhone, I probably wasn’t in the best of moods with wife in tow – the fashion boutiques were more her thing.

When we eventually found the chocolate shops I felt obliged to buy something. Invariably that meant buying bars rather than filled chocolates just because we were flying back. So at Charles, I didn’t see much choice when it came to bars so I purchased this 70% bar knowing that it was unlikely to be fantastic given that there was no origin listed. To me it’s like ordering a “meat” curry, it could be absolutely anything you’re eating. Doing my research I found out it’s a blend of West African cacao, specifically Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. Knowing that most of the world’s mass-market crap chocolate come from these countries this bar was unlikely to be anything that dull as dishwater. And I’ve not been proven wrong.

The first thought when I held this bar to my nose is that it has the aroma of cardboard. There’s nothing exciting or exuberant about it at all. It’s like having dinner with a loved one that you’ve just had a massive argument with and have nothing to say. Staring into the distance you wish you were somewhere else.

And the flavour? There’s hardly anything there – just that incredibly uninspiring, bland, tinny sensation that offers nothing in the way of excitement 0r pleasure. There’s just nothing of interest there. Nowt, nada, zich, zip. In fact, unless I was told otherwise, I would have no clue that any of the ingredients were ever near a cacao tree.

I know feel embarrassed. When I left the shop, the assistant was obviously thinking “typical Brit, they know nothing about chocolate. French people wouldn’t buy that crap”. I think she’s right, I did and I’ve wasted part of my life reviewing it.

For a rating I’d have to give it 35% as it wasn’t unpalatable, just very uninteresting.

Lee McCoy

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  • Moyan Brenn

    ah ah ah another great and funny review… i can’t finish to read one of your reviews without laughing at least 5 seconds…. i like the way you write….thank you guy for it!