The last year in the world of chocolate making has been a whirlwind. It has seen change and growth like no other in recent history. Every month seemingly gives us at least one, usually two and often more than three chocolate makers to explore and enjoy. Far too often these makers originate from distant shores where it is difficult for British chocolate-lovers to acquire and savour. Within the past few weeks, however, we have seen a good number arise from the nether-regions of this sceptered isle - most often from those regions that are either clamouring for independence or have a great claim for it. None-more so than Cornwall - a county I am familiar with.
In perhaps the finest part of England we have a new small batch chocolate maker producing some very interesting chocolate. Michael from the company sent over three bars. The Peruvian Dark I sent to a customer, I have the Dominican Republic here and a Java Milk which I will review at a later date.
Firstly I am absolutely thrilled that a chocolate maker provides the full amount of information that many require, such as the bean variety, origin, the batch number, tasting notes, the grind length and, of course, the cocoa solids %. Perhaps adding the actual estate or region would also be of useful to some - if we are to give a true like-for-like comparison with other chocolates, and because the flavour available from this Caribbean country is massively variable depending on where the cacao was grown.
The only estate in Dominican Republic that I can think of that produces Criollo is the Coralina farm - but I do not know, for sure that this is the origin.
I also absolutely loved the rest of the visual appearance - the packaging was wonderful, the 'golden' embossing added to the character, the unique sleeve - it's all great.
The snap is crisp and omits a tobacco and leather aroma and this leads on to the flavour which pushes it on into a slight under-ripe banana and much further into mango. But present throughout the melt is a very noticeable volatile acidity - which I appreciate. Often the brutishness of cacao is processed out of chocolate, but here we have a fantastic brusqueness, juvenile, unpretentious naïveté that I hope isn't lost through as the company matures as that would be a crying shame.
If I had any criticism it would be the pitting on the reverse of the bar - I'm not sure if a vibration table was used. This is only a minor criticism however.