Friday, 20 June 2014

Taste the Difference Santo Domingo & Peruvian 70% Dark Chocolate

These single origin chocolate bars are made by different unknown makers for Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range and are priced at £1.40 for 100g

The packaging design for both are attractive but I don't like the QR code on front, nor the nutritional information (that belongs on the back). The Santo Domingo picture stands out in particular, the red spectrum provoking a heat and richness whereas the greenery of the Peruvian creates a more fresh and earthen vibe

Both are certified Fairtrade and have added cocoa butter and emulsifier: soya lecithin
"hints of pear and hazelnut"

In the nose was a cocoa body overlaid with spice (notably liquorice: aniseed) and vanilla. There were further notes of leather and malt

In the mouth was tannin and tobacco, but a modulation to a juicy feel and taste. It was sweet and rich with a chocolate brownie taste. Though not fruity, the juicy taste suggested the "pear" stated on the packaging. The finish was sour, somewhat tannin and toast

Above were the fundamental notes of this Peruvian, however the flavours were capricious. Over 4 tastings: mushroom (fungi) hit me twice in the finish, once I had orange in aroma, another was strawberry, then another was celery (a quality similar to this 52% Peruvian and the urine-like aroma). Then finally during the last tasting, being left with the smallest piece solely to taste, it was hazelnut

From afar, the perfumed vanilla overtone of this chocolate was so strong that it suggested an unpalatable experience. It wasn't until I intently engaged my senses with this chocolate that I found there was more to it

Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) 
"hints of red wine and berry"

This chocolate was of organic cocoa and sugar and seemingly simpler and softer in flavours than the Peruvian. I preferred this one, having preference for a fruity chocolate

The aromas were predominantly spice and sweet red pepper. I did at times get a sense of creamy hot chocolate and touches of malt and alcohol. The following day it was predominately red wine/dark red fruits (plum, cherry, raisin) 

The flavour opened with a quick oak bitterness and then the  richness expressed itself. There was red pepper; a blackcurrant (sour) note, nicely complemented by the sweet red pepper; a soft, light-bodied red wine; toast; chocolate. The rich berry and sour note finished the chocolate

Both the Peruvian and Santo Domingo had an excellent temper, shown by the crisp snap and sheen. There were the smallest sugar granules in texture at times. The smooth melting textures were phenomenal 

Paying £1.40 for this chocolate makes me wonder if it's sustainable (especially as one's organic). It seems as if this chocolate is made from fine cocoa beans which rises the question of: are the growers really receiving fair prices to sustain their crops? Theoretically It could be that demand for this Taste the Difference origin chocolate is currently low and/or steady, and Sainsbury's, wanting us to know of their high quality chocolate, are having to attract our attention with low prices (high quality and low prices seems ironic) to eventually result in our loyal consumption and then finally they can rise and set their price realistically, reflecting on what the farmers really should be getting. But as I think of Sainsbury's, the second largest supermarket in the UK, "markup" simply comes to mind, not ethics. So maybe those harvesting the cocoa really are being exploited, and the £1.40 is actually respectable for Sainsbury's...

I am pleased at the price from consumer perspective though; Sainsbury's are introducing the mass market to fine cacao chocolate. I wonder what Tesco's Finest origin chocolate is like. I do assume that there is a hefty amount of cocoa butter added, but in taste it wasn't very noticeable (that is good)

No comments:

Post a Comment