On a recent trip to Whole Foods I picked up a fantastic looking bar of chocolate, Rajoles, by Enric Rovira of Barcelona. But, before we get to those sweet delights lets talk retail.
If you are like me and enjoy everything there is to know about food and retail then I highly recommend a visit to the Kensington branch of Whole Foods. There are other outlets in Camden, Clapham, Piccadilly and Stoke Newington. I guarantee it will be an education on how our food should be presented and prepared. You may balk at some of their prices, which I agree are off the scale when compared to the likes of Tesco, but, I guarantee you will come out more informed, wowed and perhaps a little lighter in the wallet. No product is undersold and marketing is bold and in your face! There are tasters everywhere and opportunities to win prizes or obtain sizeable discounts on certain offers. The cheese-mongers was one of the best in terms of choice and just general presentation. I was amazed to find out that you can even make your own peanut butter! There are restaurants situated on the top floor, but they were going through an upgrade at the time of my visit so they're not looking their best right now.
My only gripe with Whole Foods is their staff. At the final stage of the journey the cashiers were an absolute let down. None of them smiled and barely offered a welcome such was their boredom! Ok, it was early in the morning but there can be no excuse for such poor customer interaction. I'm always impressed with female cashiers that can chug down 4 pints of water before you reach their till point! Unfortunately, I just can't shift that image however hard I try. Plus, the online survey monkey doesn't work...grr. Apart from that it's great.
Chocolate from Spain? That certainly wasn't on my chocolate radar but this distinctive looking bar grabbed my attention. Rajoles, made by Enric Rovira. According to his website it all started in 1993 whereupon a plan was hatched to open a new bakery selling all manner of chocolate delights created by Enric. If you have not come across Enric before you should check out some of the coolest looking chocolate images I've ever seen, especially the Easter Egg creations. His chocolates are inspired by architectural elements of Barcelona.
Rajoles is the name they use for their chocolate bars. It is a polysemous (never used that word in a sentence before) word in Catalan meaning both slab and chocolate bar.
This milk chocolate slab has a cocoa content of 40% and is sweet but not overly so. Butterscotch is the main flavour to come through and the smooth milk chocolate melts sublimely on the tongue. I can't tell you where his cocoa originates but who cares when it tastes this good!
This is a delicious bar of chocolate that has been well made with perfect shine, snap and best of all no holes! A lot of thought has been put into the creation of this bar. In terms of price you're looking to pay £3.99 for a 100g slab which in comparison to some 'high end' chocolates is excellent value for money. 9/10.
In Barcelona the streets are paved with chocolate not gold! How interesting and creative. Now, I only wish I'd picked up more than one bar!
Enric will be at Chocolate Unwrapped this weekend. To buy online click here.