This visit, it must be said, was largely driven by me. I don't think anyone else minded visiting, but I don't think they felt a driving need to visit either.
I felt a driving need. This is in spite of the Margaret River Chocolate Company opening a Perth-based store last year. I could probably visit that store weekly if I so desired, but, inexplicably, I have yet to set foot inside it. Instead, I retain huge amounts of affection for the Margaret River shop that is four hours away.
On this occasion, my purchases were a milk chocolate bar with macadamia nuts, a white chocolate bar with cookies and cream, red grape dark chocolate, and chilli dark chocolate. Lest you think I have suddenly turned to milk or white chocolate consumption, those two bars were for my siblings.
|I can't comment on these...|
My own purchases made me very happy indeed. I hadn't seen the red grape variety before, and the concept of a grape-flavoured chocolate has captured my imagination and is refusing to let go, even now. I doubted that this bar would actually taste of grape, but the inclusion of polyphenol on the ingredient list (an antioxidant found in wine) was enough to convince me to buy it.
Other than polyphenol, this block has a simple ingredient list. My one complaint about the company is that they don't list cocoa percentages on their packaging. I didn't think to ask about cocoa percents when I was there, and I thus can't comment on them now. Whatever they are, though, there are no milk products in either of the dark blocks I bought, and that is a big win in my book.
Taste wise, the grape chocolate was a sweet dark chocolate. If I was guessing, I would place the cocoa percentage in the 50 - 60% range. I could have eaten the block in a single sitting, and there is none of the bitterness that accompanies some higher cocoa blocks.
As anticipated, there was no detectable grape taste. Nonetheless, this block tasted different to any chocolate I've had before. I want to refer to sweet redcurrants, but that isn't entirely accurate. Perhaps redcurrants mixed with vanilla mixed with raspberries (just a bit) mixed with a subtle, tiny hint of spice, mixed with maple syrup. The combination made my mouth sing.
Mr Bite was in agreement, but I liked this so much I only let him have two squares.
I have a private goal of trying every dark chilli chocolate that I encounter (and a good many of the milk ones too), so I was delighted to pick this chilli block up on our visit.
I am always a little excited when trying a new chilli chocolate. There is the possibility of disappointment, of course. Some blocks carry so little chilli that you are left wondering if you got a dud, one without any chilli powder at all. At the opposite end of the scale, some blocks are liable to make you splutter and sneeze and madly grab for some water after your first bite.
This block sits happily between the two. The chilli was most definitely present, and there is a warmth that kicks in at first taste. This builds over time to something closer to hot than warm, but it never reaches a point where you want the heat to stop. Instead, if you are like me, you want to keep eating in order to keep the experience going.
As with the grape chocolate, this is a sweet dark chocolate and I don't think the cocoa percentage would be above 60%. Whilst I like darker cocoa blocks most of the time, in this case the sweetness mixed with the chilli and vanilla to give a wonderful result.
I may have to start visiting that Perth store after all.
What was the last chocolate you tried that made your mouth sing, metaphorically or otherwise?