If there was any song that could describe this chocolate from Daintree it has to be this one from Deep Purple. It has smoke abound – much like that of Papua New Guinea. Whether the similarity in terms of base flavour is due to the beans on the islands having been from the same stock as PNG or they use the same process to dry the beans is open to debate. What I do believe is that there is a great deal of closeness to some of the West African cocoas I’ve tried in the recent past – perhaps it was the Felchlin Cru Suhum??? It certainly is markedly different to the Pralus Vanuatu.
These new ‘specials‘ are a departure from the chocolate made with locally produced cacao in that they’re devoid of soya lecithin or vanilla. This is a definite step in the right direction and proves to be a greater test of the chocolate maker’s skills. The specials are also different in that they’re stone ground and formed in very thin, rustic slivers – instead of the uniform, and well-moulded bars. I’m not a died-in-the-wool fan of the conventional method of forming chocolate and am completely open to this more laid-back approach.
It’s that smokiness that just dominates the initial flavour. It reminds me of an ex-girlfriend’s parent’s inglenook fireplace in their Devonian 18th Century cottage. It’s slightly dry and with only a very mute molasses context, and, if you’re pushing it, some caramel.
I do like to support those that push into new origins, or seek to increase their product range. But this one didn’t reach the heights of their others, I do, however, expect more from the New Britain bar.