I’ve always been proud of my geographic sense. But even though I’ve tried chocolate from nations on the same latitude as the tropical regions of India (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh), it never actually ‘twigged’ with me that India is a nation that would grow cacao in any significant quantities. Only on my recent trip to the Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival did I get the chance to try some .
Over the series of Zotter Chocolate I’ve become an increasingly greater fan of the artwork which adorns their bars. Some of their more imaginative bars may miss the mark for me such as the ones that containketchup, bacon or fish, but this Labooko range of single origin bars should allow me to connect with the true Zotter.
The over-riding flavour I got from the bar was of salt, which was only confirmed when I checked the ingredients. I was in two minds about that. I’m not sure if it was added to enhance the inherent cacao flavours but I’d like try some without the salt – it’s not an ingredient that’s massively used in the chocolate world, other than as a specific flavour that’s marketed on the bar’s packaging.
This slight saltiness does actually diminish as you work through the bar – it becomes a background noise that you naturally don’t notice over time. As this happens some very interesting flavours come to the fore – most noticeably that of plums. This was also combined with a delightful creaminess that, reminded me very much of having jam with rice pudding as a child. It’s actually very nice indeed. There is some acidity along with these flavours but as this is only a 65% cocoa solids level you wouldn’t naturally expect it to be too much in evidence.
Even though the bar itself didn’t have the most pristine of appearances, the melt was fantastic. It holds together very well and releases some delightful aromatics that transfer from your mouth and into your nose.