After the bells & whistles, fireworks, fanfare and marching band of the Zotter Cheese, Walnuts and Raisins dark chocolate bar of yesterday, I’m brought into the real world. This world has no Oompa Loompas, no fairies with magic dust or Harry Potter wizardry. I have a Paul A. Young 64% Madagascan Dark Chocolate with Maldon Sea Salt bar in front of me. This is a grown-up chocolate bar. There’s no Glee with this bar, it’s just like A Passionate Woman. This is a chocolate bar for adults with a refined taste – it’s the Pink Floyd of the chocolate world, not the insipid, over-hyped Mika. Its chocolate artistry, not mass-produced pop designed to satisfy the lowest-common chocolate denominator. It’s for people with taste.
This waxing lyrical of the bar is because it’s uncluttered with gimmickry. I believe it’s made with 64% Majari Madagascan Valrhona couveture which naturally has a light, slightly acidic tone which, in this case, is magnificently lifted off the page by the Maldon Sea Salt. I often get to taste salted chocolate in the form of salted caramels which I’m not a huge fan of (give me a slap), but in this context I absolutely love it. The sweet and sour juxtaposition is finely balanced and serves to add an extra dimension which, otherwise, would have been mellow in nature.
I hadn’t mentioned the shine of the bar, I’ll put that right now. I’ve had the bar for a couple of months, it’s sat their waiting. Its seen Valentine’s Day, my birthday and Easter come and go. Patiently waiting, its appearance has been wilting – just like the guards outside of Downing Street and Buckingham Palace on a hot summer’s day. Normally this wouldn’t would be a problem, but for the various other bars being placed on the top and rubbing against the smooth texture. That’s my fault. However, I do feel that a fresh, untarnished bar would be sufficient to pluck one’s eyebrows – if you saw fit. When you break the bar and peer at the crystal formation you’ll see they’re tiny, miniscule and barely visible with the naked eye. This bar is as smooth as jumper-clad Italian sat opposite a lady of superior appearance.
I’m hooked, addicted, in love with classy chocolate. I’m visiting London this week. I’m hoping my dairy can be tweaked to allow me to visit one of his shops to bag myself some more of his bars. That’d make my fourteen hour trip worth it.