How can a so-called “quality” chocolate manufacturer deliver such an abysmal product with a clean conscience? Truly puzzling in its badness, this chocolate exhibits almost all the negative qualities a chocolate can possess. It’s clear what’s to blame, ultimately, wholesale overroasting, wiping out any flavour that might have been present. Given, however, that this chocolate is considerably worse than even low-end commercial manufacturers like Hershey’s and Cadbury, Blanxart needs to start over – and you should go nowhere near this chocolate. Instead, buy their excellent organic bar.
Alex Rast: 27-Jan-2006
The wrapper and bar both have a rustic look – the bar being definitely a bit uneven and with some bubbling present. However, it’s the colour – a dark black like the pall of death, that suggests something is definitely wrong here. The aroma, furthermore, is still more alarming. Burnt is the keynote here. The basic smell is of bitter coffee, with an earthiness reminiscent of charred brown sugar. Has this bar been put under the broiler? Not promising.
If, however, the alarm bells were ringing on first sight and smell, it’s the taste that really makes it clear that the fire has burnt the building to the ground. For the first part, it’s just not that strong, basically, a mild overall impression. Secondly, it’s distinctly sugary – indeed, the sugar almost prevails over the chocolate. But the chocolate’s flavour itself is just awful, tasting like old, stale coffee, badly overroasted and burnt. A bizarre salty taste also emerges, completely out of place and off-putting. Bitterness is its constant companion and indeed the only relief is that the flavour is so mild. It’s actually hard to finish the bar.
The only bright spot, and it’s a small one, is the texture, which is certainly first-rate, very smooth and creamy. Unfortunately the texture is helpless to rescue a chocolate that has been burnt to death. It’s not difficult to detect what went wrong, and in that respect Blanxart is especially to be faulted because a roasting mistake this severe should have been caught. What did they have in mind? Whatever it was, they need to start over – the organic chocolate of theirs indicate clearly that they can produce good chocolate – and redo a chocolate that has nothing to commend it and should head straight for the nearest bin.