Is this bar truly “wild” cacao as the manufacturer claims? Perhaps not, but it’s credibly close – and about as close, probably, to a wild chocolate as we’re likely to experience. If Porcelana is said to be close to unhybridised, this chocolate might be said to be the perfect Porcelana – unimaginably delicate and subtle, with zero bitterness and a fascinating mix of light, fresh flavours. Felchlin has done wonders with this cacao, a felicitous result indeed and an experience we should be thankful for the opportunity to try.
Alex Rast: 26-Apr-2006
Felchlin’s excellent packaging – a sturdy box enclosing 2 foil-wrapped bars (one to eat, one to share?) reveals a chocolate that is astonishing for its pure beauty. Finish is beyond immaculate – zero bubbling or rippling, with a very pretty feather on top. The chocolate possesses a lovely maroon colour, completing the package. This is chocolate as art.
If the aroma is mild, it is nonetheless very alluring indeed, starting with hints of dark, blackberry and blueberry fruits and an earthy cast, before shifting to a light, summery strawberry and cream composition. On aroma alone it’s a chocolate that will be incredibly balanced, setting you up for the flavour. That blackberry is the first taste that hits the mouth, before the balance smooths this into a pure, chocolatey rush. Continuing on, strawberry and melon, fresh fruits, emerge, and once again providing contrast the finish is earthy, perhaps even with a bit of coffee. What’s most astonishing is that the bar has no bitterness at all – it’s completely devoid of the slightest trace. From a flavour standpoint alone this is like the finest possible Porcelana.
Texture is the only area where the bar falls down a bit: it’s merely average in smoothness and decidedly pasty. It’s not unpleasant, just short of the perfection Felchlin achieves elsewhere. However, one can afford to overlook texture with a chocolate this superb, and if it’s pricey indeed, the chocolate justifies the price for what might be a glimpse into what chocolate was like before hybridisation set patterns. No matter what you think of its origins, though, this chocolate will be wondrous to virtually all, simply a joy to taste.