Friday, 13 June 2014

Venchi Mediterranean Sea Salt, Orange & Lavender

I had never had Venchi chocolate before but I of course knew the name. The gourmet Italian chocolate manufacturer is most popular in Italy, with its gelato especially, but I also know it's a well respected name around the world

This Fior di Sale chocolate is a 60% cocoa blend dressed with salt, lavender and orange zest. It's part of Venchi's Sali del Mediterraneo range which entails of the pairing of the "finest cocoa beans" with the "typical aromas and flavours of Italy". I am in love with Italy so I was quite excited to try, however... the idea of orange and dark chocolate, and it especially being candied orange peel didn't enthuse me. But the sea salt and lavender sounded elegant and delightful

Because of its shape and size, I thought and hoped that this chocolate would have a soft centre/truffle filling. But after looking online, I found that it was a miniature of the standard 70 gram bar... so it was of course solid. Probably designed for cafés (Italy's coffee culture) to be served with a hot drink

It had a strong floral aroma, lavender and rose. First taste was a bitter cocoa and orange, then the lavender delicately came through making the flavours feel softer. This chocolate had a smooth melt, though disrupted by the orange peel adhering to the teeth. The orange caused a little sharp tangy, bitter sensation on the tongue. There was a lovely sweetness in this chocolate, possibly elicited by the salt, possibly because of the not-so-bitter 60% cocoa. The salt really revealed itself when the chocolate was chewed, and the salt finished the chocolate

I liked this Venchi chocolate a great deal more than I thought I would. However, I'm still not convinced that orange and chocolate are compatible

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