Being a Manchester United fan I was never meant to marry someone from Liverpool, even though she was brought up just a mile from Lancashire and doesn’t have a Scouse accent. Similarly I was never meant to like 100% dark chocolate like this one from the Grenada Chocolate company, after the Michel Cluizel Noir Infini 99% seemingly put me off ultra-dark chocolate for life. For most people our pallets change over time, but for me it just took the light bulb moment of realising I was consuming it the wrong way.
The less cocoa butter you have in chocolate the less “work” you should do when enjoying it – that’s my new chocolate ethos. Crunching dark chocolate completely by-passes any flavour that it has. It’s like buying a book and skipping to the last chapter. Dark chocolate should be savoured in a way that is relevant to you. For me it was lying down in the dining room with my eyes closed with a third of a square of this Grenada 100% and just letting it melt. No part of my body moved to masticate it. The chocolate just did its work aided by my natural ambient warmth.
It may seem hard to do that. But the intense, Marmite-like aroma should be an indication that this chocolate should be taken slowly. Not only is there that brutish nose that is so full of seaside salty acidity but there’s also an arid, out of this world sense which does offer rare flashes of fruitiness. This is a chocolate that provides a full sensory experience; from the deep, dark colour; to the most audacious of flavours and a mouth feel that is as exquisite beyond belief.
It’s difficult to explain how this chocolate melts. Of course it’s slowly. If I try it’s like a Magnum ice cream in stages. There’s a soft outer layer that has flavour in abundance and then a solid core waiting in return. But with this bar that soft, delicate, flavoursome exterior continually contracts until the displeasing moment arrives when it’s melted to nothing. At this point you could be tempted to break off another piece, but I wouldn’t. The flavours linger for a great deal after the melt has finished.
The reality of this chocolate, and 100% dark chocolate in general is that this is real chocolate. There’s no sugar, no vanilla and no compromises. For those willing to try extremely bitter dark chocolate and have sufficient will-power not to chew, you’ll be rewarded with a luscious experience.
The very last moment of this one small piece gave off a waft of Mount Gay rum. Now if anybody has been lucky enough to try that rum do compare the two flavours. I still do miss the complexity of flavours given by some other chocolate at lower cocoa solid levels, but this is a different experience and that fact doesn’t escape me when I give it a score.