The guys from Rabot Estate invited myself and a few other chocolate bloggers down to the opening of their first store at Borough Market in south London which was a great morning with meeting the owners of the company and dignitaries from St. Lucia. You may ask why they were, but the Rabot Estate Cocoa Estate is located in St. Lucia and they were there to help market the island both as a tourist destination and a suitable place to grow and harvest very good quality cocoa. I’ve not knowingly ever tasted any chocolate from St. Lucia before – not even from their sister brand Hotel Chocolat, so this first foray into their offerings I hope will be enjoyable.
We all came away with a goody bag of chocolate, but I completely forgot to write down the prices of the chocolate, so you’ll have to visit their shop on Stoney Street, Borough Market to find out how much they cost.
Rabot Estate firmly place themselves in the rustic segment of the chocolate market with rough wood shelving and broken chocolate slabs encased in clear cellophane. The only problem I had was that I’ve got big hands and mine could only just fit in the bag but with insufficient space to actually grab hold of a piece and break it off. Instead I had to break the chocolate through the bag and then go in for a piece. It’s nothing major, but it was a bit frustrating the first time as I just wanted to find out what it was like.
The first hit of flavour was that of creamy milk powder. It was fairly strong and somewhat similar to the Galaxy Counters (don’t hate me), but significantly more satisfying. The milk tone does subside into a dark chocolate flavour, which at 50% isn’t going to knock your socks off, but still offer a very nicely balanced chocolate fix.
I think that different milky edge, when mixed with the 50% St. Lucian chocolate gives it a wonderful wholesome flavour – I want to say fish paste, but I know that might put people off. It has the signature of fish paste in that the flavours have a very rounded beginning and then tail off in the same general direction. These flavours do linger, some chocolate can melt into oblivion very quickly. These don’t they stay with you. What’s more, even though milk is acidic in itself, it seems to taste anything but. Some dark chocolate, even at the 50% level can taste acidic, this doesn’t.
But it’s the texture I feel is delightful. The chocolate itself is smooth but dense and is dashed with cocoa nibs with give it a crunchy complexion which is welcome given the more polished chocolate that is offer.