Antica Dolceria Boajuto have been a true chocolate makers I’ve been stalking for some time. One of the reasons I’m so excited to review one of their bars is that they make chocolate where the only ingredients are cocoa mass and sugar – there’s no flavouring with vanilla to make it more palatable. This older style approach, to me, is something that really tests the chocolate maker’s ability to produce fine chocolate as they don’t have the ability to hide any short-comings with additional ingredients.
Dolceria Bonajuto was founded some 130 years ago by Francesco Bonajuto in Modica, Sicily and uses cold press technique which has been jumped upon recently by all the “healthy chocolate” manufacturers with their armies of ‘independent sales agents” (aka. multi-level marketing). The problem with all this is that it’s incredibly difficult to disseminate the fact from the fiction, but you can definitely taste the result of this cold-pressing as there is a slight ‘raw chocolate‘ flavour to it.
For a bar that just uses cocoa mass and sugar, as well as confining themselves with their use of less-than modern techniques, I thought it was absolutely fantastic. There’s a real, mild chocolate flavour to it and much sweeter than most 70% bars as is so far removed from the commercial stuff we’re all used to. There is a complete absence of any acidity – it’s just a pleasant sweetness all the way. I can’t pick out any additional notes as is often the case with dark chocolate it’s just a relatively flat, consistent, ‘text book’ chocolate flavour. Now this would please those of you who don’t like acidity, but for those of you who appreciate brutish flavours then you’ll be left disappointed.
Furthermore, this more rustic texture is very much reminiscent of the pre-production bars from another Italian chocolate maker: Go*Do such as their 60% Espresso bar which was very interesting. The crunch, crispness was appealing to me, but for those people that like a more subdued bar I’d suggest that they wouldn’t appreciate the more natural texture offered in this bar.
I actually loved it despite the more ‘fine’ artisan flavour. But if every bar had the same acidic, floral or tobacco tones then the world would be a very boring place. It’s purely because we can try different from around the world made with differing techniques which makes chocolate reviewing such a pleasant past time.
Their video advert was also fantastic. Of course Sicily was a central battleground in the Second World War with operation Husky taking place in early July 1943 – this advert plays on that and almost suggests the Allied invasion should have been called Operation Hershey!