When I first read the information surrounding this bar I just couldn’t wait to try it. One thing that has always amazed me about chocolate is that at one moment I could be reviewing a bar made with cocoa beans from the deepest reaches of Bolivia and then the next I’ll be munching on a bar made with ingredients from Hawaii and then the next minute it’ll be a dark bar made with cocoa from Indonesia or even northern Australia. And that’s exactly what this bar was designed to celebrate.
Josef Zotter, like myself, loves the inter-connectivity of the world and has produced a bar to celebrate that. Here he uses ingredients used to denote five of the world’s seven continents. Here Europe is featured as caramel fudge nougat with almonds, Asia as a spicy ganache with chilli, cardamom, tonka beans and shitake mushrooms; whilst Australia comes across in the form of grapes peanut nougat and Africa via the chocolate that envelopes it all – 68% dark chocolate from Congo.
Visually it has the same dark appearance as so many of Zotter’s dark handscooped bars. However, the flavour is somewhat different, but yet the same at the same time. So many of his bars have a very direct flavour that you can isolate with reasonable confidence. But with this bar it’s a symphonic experience in that the diverse flavours and tones work incredibly well together. It’s almost as if those ingredients were placed on earth expressly for the purpose of being used in this chocolate bar.
The almonds against the grapes is a triumph whilst the tonka bean and cardamom form a wonderful background to the experience. I didn’t notice the chilli so much, but just like a good operatic score it’s those elements that you don’t notice specifically that all combine to provide a balance to the performance.
Overall, if I had to place this in the list of the many Zotter bars I’ve tried, then it’d certainly be in the top two or three.