Sunday, 10 October 2010

Duffy's Star of Peru 70%

Duffy's or Red Star Chocolates Ltd is all about single origin chocolate bars from around the world. 25 years ago Duffy Sheardown was involved in the heart thumping and adrenalin fueled sport of Motor Racing now he's turned his hand to chocolate making. You might imagine this would be a less stressful way of life but from the little I know about chocolate making it certainly isn't relaxing. Especially if you are one of the few people that like to be involved in nearly every single stage of chocolate production. Based in the seaside town of Cleethorpes Duffy sets about producing his single origin chocolate bars from cleaning the beans through roasting, grinding, conching to tempering. I understand that apart from Willie Harcourt-Cooze he is the second person in the UK to produce single origin chocolate from bean to bar.

Duffy certainly has high standards and he goes a long way to ensure that his cocoa beans and sugar are ethically sourced. Unfortunately, due to some Fairtrade technicality he can't call state that his sugar is Fairtrade. However, on his packaging all his ingredients state that they are Fairly traded and Organic. In the longterm Duffy is looking to share his profits with the very farmers that provide him with his cocoa. But first he has to make a profit! 

The Packaging: Duffy seems to have a knack not only for all things chocolate but also his packaging. This particular item is presented clearly and with no fuss. The information on the back tells you exactly what you want to know with simple tasting notes provide sufficient information as to what you might expect. Other producers take note! 

The Chocolate: I have to admit that I've not eaten anything this morning so I'm champing at the bit for a piece of this chocolate! The bar is wrapped in a seductive red foil and as soon as you open it you are hit by a delicious waft of blackcurrant and heady cocoa. The aromas are so rich and I haven't even eaten a piece. There is no decoration on the bar and 'no fuss' approach flows through this chocolate. It has a great shine and superb snap. The spice flavours coming through are not overpowering but I can't pick out the hazelnut, I must try harder. There is a slight dryness to my tongue and roof of my mouth. Don't get me wrong this is not unpleasant. At the end there is a definite hint of blackcurrant. 

This is an excellent chocolate not only in terms of flavour and presentation but also in price. £3.50 for an 80g handmade bar is not unreasonable. I have two more bars to sample and when these are gone I'll definitely be back for more. Overall I give this bar 9/10.

To purchase Duffy's Star of Peru 70% visit his shop


  1. This sounds very exotic for Cleethorpes :) but I can smell that aroma from here.
    I love the packaging - it's very tasteful.
    Am off to the site to take a nose. I wish him all the very best.

  2. Hi Caroline, Many thanks for the comment. Good things turn up in the strangest places! Just finishing the last two squares :(