Friday, 28 October 2011

Akesson's 75% Criollo Cocoa

It has been a very busy, busy week making chocolate and more chocolate! Christmas might come just once a year but it seems to be getting earlier and earlier!  Apparently, Tesco already has cream chocolate eggs sitting in their storeroom ready for Easter.  So, that's my excuse for not much blogging action this week.   However, as it is National Chocolate Day in America I feel the need to review a piece of chocolate.  Anyway before we get into chocolate I must mention the protesters camped outside St Paul's Cathedral.  As I was in the area I thought I'd better go and see what was going on.  Well, it was all very intense with people standing on the steps of St Paul's voting and listening to speakers. It was all very well organised and I can't understand why the church shut the doors to the paying public earlier this week, as everybody seemed good natured and peaceful.  


Akessons's, not a name that trips off the tongue but apparently they've been on the chocolate scene for many years supplying top chefs with their fine, bean to bar chocolate.  Personally I've never heard of this company but I was fortunate to meet the owner, Bertil Akesson, at Chocolate Unwrapped this year. This is a family run business set up in Madagascar during the 1970's.  It is only in the past few years that he has launched his own single plantation range of bars using fine cocoa from his plantations in Madagascar and Brazil. Akesson's philosophy is to produce the most tasteful, authentic, and ethic products or carefully source them from some of the best farms around the world in order to deliver the highest standards.




This particular piece of chocolate originates from a plantation located in the Sambirano Valley, in the North-West of Madagascar. They produce 300 tons of Trinitario cocoa each year plus a limited quantity of Criollo beans- 2 tons - is harvested separately.




The Chocolate:  Superb, bright dark chocolate with a clean loud 'snap' as you break off the first piece. This type of chocolate is not to be rushed, it has to be eaten slowly and with respect.  A 75% cocoa content that has a subtle aroma of slightly damp forest and a delicious fruity, citrus flavour.  The mouth feel is very moist with no chalky or dryness that you get with some dark chocolates.  There is just a lovely tartness about this chocolate that hits the spot!  The Criollo variety has very few pods and grows only in very specific conditions.  A truly great bar of organic chocolate which in my opinion scores 9/10. Looking forward to the other bars in this collection.


In terms of price I paid about £12 for 3 x 60g bars but unfortunately I can't remember exactly how much I paid.  The Chocolate Gourmet is selling them at £4.95 each. These are the current UK retails where you can find this bar and others from the Akesson collection. 


London (Paul.A.Young, 143 Wardour Street, Soho & 33 Camden Passage, Islington & 20 The Royal Exchange, Threadneedle St. / Cave London, 210 Bermondsey St. / Allans, 75 Duke St.), Ludlow (The Chocolate Gourmet, 16 Castle St.), Pittenweem (The Cocoa Tree Shop, 9 High Street), Shrewsbury (The Chocolate Gourmet, 69a Wyle Cop), Worcester (The Chocolate Gourmet, 17 Friars St.)



I'll update the blog once I know more. Happy National Chocolate Day! To read more about National Chocolate Day click here.