An excellent if somewhat ethically questionable bar from Bonnat.

It’s got a good basic chocolate taste – no frills, but the purity of flavour makes it stand out among Ivory Coast chocolates, usually a source of cheap bulk beans. A great example of how to treat a Forastero. However, concerns over labour practices taint this bar – and it must be said that there are better chocolates from Bonnat which come with no moral stigma.


Reviews

Alex Rast: 5-Jun-2005

Posted: June 5, 2005 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 7.5 10%
Look/snap: 7 5%
Taste: 9 35%
Melt: 7.5 5%
Length: 9 15%
Opinion: 9 30%
Total/100: 86.75 100%
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Before actually assessing the chocolate, one must address a critical concern. In recent years it has been shown that in certain plantations in the Ivory coast, slave labour practices are being used to produce cacao. This morally abhorrent situation makes for grave misgivings when trying this bar. As far as I know Bonnat has not made any guarantees that no slave labour has been part of this bar’s production, and I believe until this is done it is best to stay away from this bar. It also calls into question Bonnat’s ethical standards and casts a shadow over an otherwise excellent chocolate manufacturer.

As for the bar itself, at first glance it looks pretty unprepossessing. The colour is a dark, purplish-black, almost like a Dutch-processed chocolate, and with a dry look to it as well as a somewhat non-uniform finish. One doesn’t get the impression Bonnat spent a lot of time trying to make this bar look first-class.

Neither is the aroma that promising – a strong coffee predominates, with the characteristic earthiness of Ivory Coast Forasteros. It smells very roasty – as if it may have been roasted within an inch of its life. Now, with a Forastero it may indeed be necessary to do this but nonetheless it doesn’t build excitement.

However, the flavour is astonishingly good for a Forastero. It starts out with a creamy, blueberry tone and then shifts to a very pure chocolatey cast, with a hint of coconut. Not outstandingly complex, but uncomplex in just the right way, so that it tastes very balanced and not washed-out. There’s no bitterness, and Bonnat has made the right choice here, dark roasting to eliminate the worst bitter components yet keeping some interest. Texture bears out the appearance, being not really the best, somewhat firm and dry, rather average in terms of smoothness, although it has a nice crisp snap. This is probably as good as one can wring out of an ordinary Forastero – a fine eat that would be a nice basic choice if Bonnat could give more assurances as to origin and production.

Martin Christy: 2-Feb-2002

Posted: February 2, 2002 by
SCORES Score/10 Weight
Aroma: 7 10%
Look/snap: 5 5%
Taste: 7 35%
Melt: 8 5%
Length: 9 15%
Opinion: 8 30%
Total/100: 75.5 100%
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Sweet and mild with a buttery aroma. Hints of raisin, plum & cappuccino. An easy melt and a very steady length with an unchanging flavour. Almost like a white chocolate, which is not surprising given some of the best whites are made from Ivory Coast beans.

Air bubbles in the bar lost took a couple of points of ‘look’, otherwise a good straightforward chocolate.



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