Made using cocoa beans from north central Peru, this bar is manufactured in Italy before retailing through Tesco Stores Ltd.
I’ve tried this bar a number of times, from when I’m out and about and looking for some chocolate to eat, especially in smaller cities and towns, to a number of ganaches I’ve made using the distinctive flavour of this bar in desserts. My experience of this bar so far has been one of red fruits and florals, noticeably individual and expressive of origin, but not necessarily in a manner competitive with quality craft chocolate producers. This bar is one that is clearly industrially processed, displaying both the positive and negative factors associated with this, but it still manages to maintain the aspects that make this bar individual and distinguishable from other plain dark chocolate. My expectations are for more of the same here, an expression of red fruits and florals with a smooth glossy mouthfeel and my hope is that in the small degrees of change I’ve noticed from bar to bar, that this is one of the better ones. Opening the bar reveals a simple silver foil sheet over a 5 x 2 thin cocoa pod mould. The chocolate work is good, if not expected and breaking off a piece reveals some distinctive aromas of red fruit, vanilla and jam, but in a manner that hints at synthetic confectionary. Placing a piece in my mouth, there’s an improvement in the mouthfeel with silky caramel textures, that while processed feel particularly pleasant. To taste this bar is particularly intense, there’s a lot of fruit, a lot of florals and a lot of sweetness thrown in the mix. These intense flavours are a mixture of pleasant, such as cherry jam and light honey and a mixture of synthetic feeling confectionary like freeze dried raspberries, raspberry syrup and marshmallow. This juxtaposition, has positive and negative qualities fighting for position in a particularly intense set of flavours, which produces a bar at odds with itself. This bar is distinctive, it’s not like other plain dark chocolate bars taste this way, but it is about as far from elegant as it gets, this is a bar that lacks refined qualities and a tempered or mediated expression. This bar ends up being an assault of flavour of fruity florals, softened by vanilla and honey notes, but not balanced by roast, development or chocolate work in order to produce something with a finer expression. Best enjoyed as a distinctly flavoured ingredient in baking or as a bar to introduce you to the individual nature of a single origin chocolate bar. Pair with malted milk, cream or other dominant strong flavours, a chocolate designed for making milkshakes with.
Ingredients: Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, Emulsifier (soya lecithin), vanilla extract
Colour: Lighter brown
Texture: Smooth, light flake
Mould: 5 x 2 thin cocoa pod indents
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss consistent
Notes: Milky sweet cocoa, metallic sharp red fruit, vanilla, jam
Quality: Distinctive, sweet, synthetic
Texture: Caramel, silky, glossy
Quality: Silky, processed, bold
Notes: Raspberry, cherry
Quality: Fruity, tart, vibrant
Notes: Raspberry syrup, berry jam, honey
Quality: Bright, ripe fruit, synthetic
Notes: Freeze dried raspberries, marshmallow, cherry, sweet syrupy florals, vanilla sponge
Quality: Confectionary, sweet, bold
Flavours are long rounding intermittently on peaks of fruity acidity, sweetness pushes the length
Notes: Raspberry, vanilla sponge, honey
Quality: Bold raspberry and fruit notes fill the end before notes of vanilla sponge and honey swoop in on the finish, leaving lingering sweet syrupy notes that last a long while
Levels are mostly equalised, but bar doesn’t maintain inherent balance, sweet and fruity notes dominate bar and offer a slightly uneven tone, medium to strong structure does provide some anchoring
Bar is more bold than deep and while distinctive lacks dimension, small amount of complexities miss the balance, structure is consistent, expression is individual and indicative of beans and origin, but heavy processing is highly perceptible with vanilla smoothness added to the bar and fruity acidity encouraged
Tesco’s Tasting Notes: This chocolate is vibrantly floral and fruity. The first aroma is of mixed berries with slight acidity, which is balanced by notes of light honey.