[An Archived Review Republished]
Have I found the most perfect bar of dark chocolate ever? Quite possibly. After trying the Amedei and Amano Chuao bars I was left thinking that they didn't match the hype that they've received from certain quarters of the chocolate community. But now it’s my chance to wax lyrical.
Of course I'll start off with the packaging. It's perfection in cardboard form. It reminds me of little boxes of high-class make-up I glance upon as I walk through the lower levels of department stores. They're little bits of sexy joy wrapped in paper-form. The front has golden embossing that features the logo, their brand and the co-ordinates of the Chuao plantations in Venezuela. And on the reverse there's a great story about the village of Chauo and how it’s difficult to get to and how rare the cocoa is. If this doesn't get your chocolate juices flowing, I don't know what will.
The aroma with this version of the Chauo bar is exceptional. It's primarily of wine vinegar but with that you've got a wonderful edge of marmite on toast and maybe blackberries if you're really pushing for notes. It's most certainly a bar that will appeal to dark chocolate lovers but if any of milk chocolate fans get to this stage they'll probably be put off. It’s their loss to be honest.
It's the flavour that makes this the perfect bar of chocolate. Whereas the Patrick Roger Antilles I recently tried had the range of flavours and texture, it just didn't offer enough punch to truly call it an A* grade bar of chocolate. This bar, however, most certainly does. It starts off fairly mild unassuming but gently builds up to a wonderful fruity crescendo that is, well, "right up my alley".
One thing I noticed instantly was an edge to it. This note reminded me greatly of the crispy edges to chocolate brownies. And I just love that. It's just like those crispy, slightly over-done, edges to roast potatoes that just make them so moreish and it's exactly the same with this chocolate. It somehow manages to be meek but with an incredibly sexy ending. It's unlike any other bar of chocolate I've tried in the past.
And the texture is fantastic too. The melt lasts for a lifetime. It's smooth, all-embracing, velvety and utterly satisfying. To date I have not found a better bar. Even the Amano Ocumare falls short of this in retrospect - and I gave that 100% for taste. If I did have to fault it, it would be the size. 50g is just not enough. It'll leave you in some sort of psychotic rage as you realise you're just about to consume the last piece. And you will manage to enjoy the lot in one sitting quite easily. It is that good!