The guys at Daintree Estates sent over some extra chocolate from their new ranges with a recent order and as always, the unusual origins in the box jumped out and demanded to be reviewed. Having reviewed and enjoyed cocoa from the Pacific, specifically Vanuatu, I opened up this Solomon Islands packet of chocolate with great haste.
What I hadn’t realised is that this packet, reminiscent of the Pump Street packaging, actually contained shards of chocolate rather than a classic tablette form. Although I do love marvelling at the moulding of chocolate and how it’s tempered, you can’t really get a sense of that so much in this form. The upside is that the sealed packet seemed to protect the chocolate more than the traditional wrapped bars. There was a degree of temperature shock, but only the slightest amount and certainly wouldn’t disappoint the vast majority of chocolate lovers.
The texture may not be as smooth as some I’ve tried recently, but this may be due to the fact that you get less opportunity to test the texture when the chocolate is set this thin. Despite the fact that you’re technically loading your taste buds with less chocolate, the flavour still comes across beautifully. This has become a grower on me. Yesterday I found it very muted, but today I appreciate it greatly. I can sense the strawberries and cream followed by the pomegranate. Other times I get toasted smoked ham and cheese and others, well, it just so unusual, it becomes oakier.
I can’t recall any other chocolate, in the recent past, which offers such curious flavours. They have a sharpness to them but they seem to be trying to push through a thick sheet of cellulose and just can’t express themselves fully. Above that there are wafts of very interesting flavour, but I do feel it’s held back somewhat. I’d love to see this conched a touch less to let more astringency come through.
Perhaps the solution is to limit the sugar too as that is a fairly dominant feature, which although leads to a very pleasant chocolate, it just leads me to wonder what else is lurking beneath it, yearning to be unlocked.