Thursday, 14 October 2010

Artisan du Chocolat Tobacco Dark Chocolate 72%

Well I treated myself today and dropped into Selfridges and took a quick tour of the chocolate concession area which was surrounded by Halloween costumes and paraphernalia - it's amazing what the average 'trick or treater' requires. I had gone with the intention of buying some American chocolate but was sucked into the Artisan du Chocolate section especially as free chocolates were being handed out! 

I was surprised to see that they produce chocolate bars and what a range! There were so many that I didn't take in all the flavours, very impressive. Famous for their salted caramels and handmade truffles it was good to see that they now provide bars. I'm probably way behind the times however I picked out a couple of bars and the dark chocolate with tobacco intrigued me. Was I allowed to eat this bar in a public place? Would I be ostracized from crowded venues? Was there a health warning on the package? Enough, I hear you shout.

This particular bar is part of their Fusion range. To produce this bar, they conche and refine ground Trinitario cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic with cane sugar in their atelier in Kent. The warm chocolate is then infused with a blend of tobacco made of sweet fire cured Virginia, spicy Kentucky and Cyprus Latakia. This is not the first time that I've experienced tobacco in dark chocolate and on that occasion I had to find a bin. Lets hope this is going to be better.

The Packaging: The packaging is great and each bar has a different approach and feel to match the ingredients. There are plenty of helpful tasting notes from Gerard on the reverse. The chocolate itself is enclosed in cellophane which I know will upset some of the purists. I'd love to know from somebody whether there is any difference between foil and cellophane in terms of quality, etc.

The Chocolate: A 72% cocoa content for a dark chocolate is just about fine for me. As soon as you open the cellophane wrapper tobacco wafts straight up your nostrils and it's not unpleasant or overpowering. There is also a strong woody smell which is very appealing. The chocolate is beautifully tempered and melts quickly. The addition of sugar compliments the tobacco flavours that flood through your mouth. A word of caution this bar is not for the feint hearted as it has big, big flavours and having shared a few pieces with a friend they immediately pulled a face and found a receptacle. Once the chocolate is finished you are left with the taste of tobacco in the mouth but what else would you expect! It will probably have the same effect as marmite and you will either loath it or lap it up.

Overall this is a great bar of chocolate and I give it 8/10 for pure nerve, good chocolate and presentation of the packaging. The flavour is not going to be for everyone. You've been warned! This bar weighs in at just 45g which is underweight in my opinion considering the price. I took advantage of the deal, '2 bars for £5.00'. To buy it online will cost you £2.75 plus postage and packing.

To buy this bar follow this link Tobacco Dark Chocolate 72%

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