Thursday, 5 June 2014

Nero & Bianco Milk Chocolate

Reading that Nero & Bianco started up their chocolate venture with the imperative idea of being Fairtrade and organic, I was only hoping that taste and quality was their paramount interest. This niche brand buy their cocoa from the Dominican Republic, Peru and Ecuador, and their bars are manufactured by an Italian chocolate company (I believe Agostoni)

This 39% cocoa milk chocolate is an organic and Fairtrade Dominican Republic and Ecuadorian cocoa blend. It's of 30% milk solids, it doesn't include an emulsifier and its sugar (grown in Paraguay) sits 3rd on the ingredients list. Nero & Bianco, on the packaging, also mention the co-operatives from where their cocoa and sugar is grown. Loaded with all this positive information about the chocolate I was about to taste, it really seemed as if it was going to be an "indulgence with conscience"

The aroma was creamy, a soft cheese, butter and nut with the lightest cacao background. The sugar had a sharp caramel, vanilla sweetness but it was far from overwhelming. The creaminess really mellowed the sugar and I found the aroma to be so captivating. It smelt very much like white chocolate. It had an immensely soft snap and bite

The taste was creamy with the sweetness being almost quite earthy. There were notes of nut and cheese. It had a long melt which had a pleasant enough texture compared to when chewing. As when chewing, because it was vastly high in cocoa butter, it felt fat and viscous in the mouth and as the chewing required some effort it made the taste to go unnoticed at times. With all this cocoa butter, it was a real surprise that the melt wasn't that smooth

Before tasting this chocolate I knew that there was a significant difference between the cocoa butter and mass. As "cocoa butter" was first on the ingredients list, followed by milk powder then cane sugar; and then penultimately "cocoa paste" (or 'liquor' approx. 53% cocoa butter). The aroma also indicated the little cocoa mass within, it wasn't so much cacao I could smell...more a white chocolate vanilla cheesecake. The taste actually reminded me of Willie's white chocolate, the sugar being soft and delicate with the natural, earthed flavour of cacao butter

The colour and mould of the chocolate wasn't the most attractive but I really fell for the aroma. And because of how calm it was, I enjoyed this milk chocolate and would happily have it again. Despite its limited distribution, if you do see this 60s psychedelic inspired packaging, I really do recommend you try it (£2.30)

I must say that I would have preferred more cocoa liquor/mass for texture and taste reasons; I wanted more of an expressive chocolate flavour. It is interesting to see how the ratio of butter to cocoa mass differentiates chocolate bars, for example Nero & Bianco has more cocoa than Green & Black's 37% milk chocolate yet isn't as cocoa defined

1 comment:

  1. I'm a big fan of Nero & Bianco, loved their white choc bar.