The only other time I’ve come across Sri Lankan cocoa is the popular Bonnat Ceylan (which we are currently out of stock of) and this is a nation that has had such a tumultuous past, not least with the British Colonial occupation but also the Civil War that I remember so much hearing about as I grew up. Given that over the last two-to-three hundred years the ‘Sacred Island’ has been colonised by the English, Portuguese and Dutch – all with their varying involvement in cacao across the region and beyond, it should be little surprise that there is so much variety in the available cacao plant stock on the island. You have the Amelonado’s that spread across the Dutch islands of Sao Tome and Principe, much of Western Africa, Indonesia and even East Timor. There is, however, a small amount of what we traditionally call ‘Criollo’ which arrived in 1880/1881 from Trinidad as well as some others varieties which probably earlier originated in Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Svenksak Kakaobolaget’s own website states that this chocolate is either made from a purposeful blend of Criollo or Trinitatrio or that both varieties are grown from the source plantations and they haven’t been separated during harvesting. We should, however, be able to determine what balance between the two strains it is. But first, it has to be said that this chocolate smacks massively of the profile that The Grenada Chocolate Company has: tart, crisp, acidic, rustic, not what I would expect from a Swedish made chocolate.
I love the natural acidity, low grind, more authentic flavour. With chocolate there is often a time and a place, and contrasted with the recent Bonnat Porcelana this chocolate is the slightly strange, obscure slightly left-field uncle you hardly ever talk to, but by the same token, would be highly entertaining if you did. The conversation would be ‘to the point’ too. There are no rambling, operatic or even sensual notes. This is sordid and uncomplicated, sharp and memorable. Although it knocks you out of your comfort zone but won’t lead to excessive pangs of guilt either.