One of the highlights of this recent Chocolate Show was to meet Bryan and Dahlia from Fruition Chocolate finally. But if the truth be told, as nice as they are, I much prefer their chocolate. I jest. But the sentiment is there. The guys won three Golds and a Silver at the 2015 International Chocolate Awards - for which I was a judge. Quite by chance I told them that I loved their Maranon bar that was, a couple of hours later, to be awarded a gold at finals announcement.
But during that conversation Bryan had passed me one of his new bars: this Belize 70%. Now I love chocolate I have tried from that origin - despite their historic problems with disease and multinationals. They do have some smatterings of Criollo hanging around, but not sufficient to cover at least a modicum of supply the country ships out abroad and uses internally.
The origin gets me for some reason. I have no idea. It makes great milk chocolates, with Moho and Cotton Tree coming to mind and even this 70% has an unusual dark milk-like profile. What struck me most about this chocolate was the seemingly high roast. It was nutty, creamy; it tasted as if it had a large amount of Criollo DNA or Bryan and team are so damn good they can make a variable hybrid taste that way!
There are dashes of strawberry here. Along with crisp cotton sheets and mango. It is just generally an splendid, soft dark chocolate. Often I'd go for more strident flavours. But in terms of luxuriousness of the whole experience, this bar is sublime and would certainly sit in my 'when you need cheering up' stash. In fact, it reminds very much of the early Pralus Chuaos (before it went horribly wrong). If you're a Pralus or a Bonnat fan, you'll love this!