Saturday, 6 October 2012

Pelicaen 88% Chocolate

Oh, it's not a chocolate orange? Damn!
Chocolate News: Apparently, recession has finally hit sales of chocolate in Europe.  Chocolate once considered 'recession proof' is no longer an affordable treat. Previously, during times of hardship chocolate was that little indulgence a person would allow themselves. However, purse strings have become so tight that even a simple bar of chocolate remains out of reach for many Europeans. People are spending less and less on food so  expecting them to spend their hard stretched euros on chocolate is proving an impossibility for European retailers.  The global chocolate market is valued at approximately $85 billion.  This week Cadbury launched a new chocolate bar, Crispello, a chocolate bar for women, specifically those who are watching their weight.  This is the first product since the 90's that Cadbury have launched. It is a mix of wafer and chocolate and only clocks up a mere 165 calories. Apparently, it also comes in a handy resealable wrapper that is split into 3 sections. Initial response has been poor and not on the grounds of taste or quality as you might think but because of 'gender specific' marketing.  It seems most women prefer a chunky Yorkie or Mars to chomp on. You and me both darling.....

As chocolate bars are being left on European shop shelves I picked up my next bar from Pelicaen a Belgium chocolate retailer based in Brussels.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to go on this visit but as I'm always on the look out for new bars. I hastily asked my adventurers to grab some chocolate for me and they delivered but, it wasn't what I was expecting.  Interestingly, Belgium prides itself on having the best chocolate but looking at the label they do not have the best inkjet printers! Either that or all Belgium people have 20/20 vision. Perhaps, the worst marketing and label design I have seen in a long time. Not an auspicious start to a tasting.....

Pelicaen 88% Chocolate
Pelicaen Chocolates, very little is known about this company and not being able to explore the shop myself leaves me in the dark when it comes to understanding them as a business. Their website has not yet gone live but here is the link to their site. Alternatively, visit Shop in Brussels for more information. The only other mention I could find was by World Snoop who only managed one line and it wasn't very promising!

Not to be put off I soldiered on! This particular dark chocolate has an 88% cocoa content and despite initial doubts this is not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The chocolate is well made despite outward appearances but this may be as a result of poor storage on the journey home. The chocolate has a good snap, a slightly grainy texture but not as chalky or dry as I imagined. However, after a while I can feel my mouth drying out. There is not a lot of fruit or acidity and overall it is a bit flat in terms of flavour. Slightly astringent at the end especially on the back of the throat.

80g of Belgium Chocolate
I would like to know more about this company and the origins of their chocolate and look forward to their website going live. You will pay €3.00 for a bar of Pelicaen chocolate. Overall 4/10 as the packaging was awful and taste was flat. 

C'mon Belgium you can do better than this....surely? Would love some feedback from Belgium customers who have visited this retailer....bring it on!