It’s always nice to try out a new chocolate maker and although I’ve already tried chocolate from Hungary, in the form of Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé, it’s good to see what their country-folk can do with the cocoa bean. This chocolate was sent to me by my good friend Geert Vercruysse after I asked him if he’s got any new, funky chocolate I could give a whirl. Although he also sent me some Felchlin couverture, he also sent me this packaged bar and some sample ones from Szántó Tibor – and, of course, some of his own delights whilst I’ll try in the next couple of days.
When the chocolate arrived it was broken to a degree and had a bit of blooming due to being sent from Belgium. That I don’t mind. I didn’t buy it from a retailer or direct. So I can’t really comment on the visual appearance.
The cocoa originated from the Ayacucho district which shares a small border with the highly respected Cusco region and has a high proportion of native-origin (rather than the CCN-51 hybrid) where around 5,000 families farm cocoa.
The aroma is incredibly earthen but with a salinity that draws the nose in closer and ginger with vanilla ice-cream back drop whilst the mouth feel is more granular than one would have expected. It sticks to your teeth as your jaw rises whilst the flavour is very mellow. It’s almost ‘Mellow Birds’ coffee with half a teaspoon of sugar and the whiff of Sutton Harbour in the background. To be fair, it’s not the best chocolate ever. But considering chocolate is naturally compared to the last you have, and that one was utterly smooth with well-toned flavours (but not explicit), this was always going to be difficult for the Szántó Tibor.
It is interesting, but not exceptional. It’s another maker to tick off and say I’ve tried. I have some more sample bars to try out so I’ll see how they fair shortly.