The arrival of this 70% dark chocolate bar from Solomons Gold represents two firsts for Cocoa Runners. Not only is it our first bar made using beans from the Solomon Isles, Solomons Gold is also the first chocolate maker we have brought you from New Zealand!
This is a seriously intense and savoury dark bar. The chocolate has little to no fruit but instead is infused with a seriously smokey aroma. The flavour is not so much nutty or roasted as a big blast of woodsmoke.
Wooded hints of tobacco, rough leather and saddle soap drift under the smoke. The strong flavours counteract any sweetness, making this an intense and unique tasting experience. The strength of flavour is comparable to much higher percentage bars.
Lying between Papaua New Guinea in the west and Vanuatu in the southeast, The Solomon Islands is made up of 6 main islands and over 900 smaller ones. In the area where the cacao is grown the soil is volcanic. Solomons Gold believe that it is the particular make up of the volcanic soil that give the beans their smokey quality.
Perhaps one of the most interesting chocolate phenomena, this ‘smoked chocolate’ note is something we are seeing more of. There are a number of cocoa-producing islands in the South Pacific and many of the bars that hail from them have a similar profile. At the same time, each different plantation and islands’ own micro-climate has a huge impact on the beans’ flavour. So far Solomons Gold has the most pronounced smokiness of any bar we’ve tasted.
This bar achieved a Silver at the Academy of Chocolate Awards 2017.