I first picked up this Zotter 60% Dark Chocolate with cheese, walnuts and raisins, amongst other bars at the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival and thought it could go one of two ways; I could either love it or hate it. In fact, just like a good political settlement, there was a third way. I was nonplussed by it, I think.
The packaging is lovely. They all have a different design on it that reflects the flavours contained within and wouldn’t need wrapping if you gave them as a present. Another thing I love about this bar is that it is substantial. It’s a thick bar, that when you slide it out of the outer wrapping it looks like a bar of gold.
If you look at the ingredients, there’s a whole load of organic goodness in there. The most prevalent ingredient is organic raw cane sugar followed by organic cocoa mass and cocoa butter. The sugar element and its quantity should give an indication of how sweet this bar is. It must be a subliminal thing as my wife bought me a heap load of blue cheese for Easter that I thought there would be similar flavour to it. I was wrong. The bar is only 5% (Austrian Mountain) cheese and is mild with it. What’s more the flavour has a syrup tone that comes through well and is further heightened in terms of sweetness by the odd raisin – only to be brought back down to earth by an infrequent walnut.
What did surprise me was a transient acidity. I love fructose flavours in chocolate, they seem to bring out the dominant flavours to the fore. And this bar, with its apple balsamic vinegar, Grappa and lemon concentrate all adds to the zing. What I didn’t notice, until l read the ingredients was that there was a very small element of “Bird’s eye” chilli in it. This pretty indistinguishable from the other flavours, apart from the very end of the tasting where you can just feel something at the end of your tongue so I wouldn’t expect you to think this was a powerful bar.
I’ve almost demolished the bar – much to my surprise. But I’m not entirely sure where I stand with it. It seems to be a bar made in the same vain as my cooking – throw everything into a pot and see what happens. Once I made corned beef curry. It was a disaster. These guys have averted a similar fate with this bar, but what the heck were they thinking? I’d hate to think of the flavour ingredients that didn’t make it through the selection process? I jest. That’s the fantastic thing about Zotter. Some companies play it safe. Some companies are too hierarchical and boring and some companies come up with chocolate that include pumpkin seed and nougat, celeriac truffle and port wine, yellow rice with currants, olives with lemon, peanuts and ketchup and a cheep’s milk with honey nuts bar. Whatever next? You’ve guessed it! I’ve got the bacon bits bar to review and ordered some of these funky varieties!
So, did I like it? Well yes. But as an infrequent taste bad tantaliser. I could eat this bar frequently. I wonder if you guys like the sound of it?