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With the likes of Mars, Nestle and Cadbury all recently blowing their own trumpets about their chocolates now being Fairtrade or Rainforest certified etc I am starting to get a little a sick of hearing how eating chocolate will help save the planet. What ever happened to chocolate being solely about enjoyment, and indulgence!? ... Those were my first thoughts anyway when I opened up a package sent to me by The Chocolate Truffle Company (website - See HERE) which included some samples of their Rainforest Alliance Certified Lait Collection range. This was to be my first experience trying anything from this company and I was damn sure hoping that this was going to be a chocolate that I would more remember for it's taste rather than the token green emblem on the front.
As you will see from the picture above the chocolate came in a pretty undignified fashion and I wasn't all that impressed with it being solely kept in a plastic packet that was only sealed by the on-pack label. The 48.0g bar was divided into 15 block pieces which disappointingly were not branded or decorated in any manner giving them a somewhat understated appearance. Despite the plastic wrapper being the only layer of packaging the smells that emanated once the seal was disturbed were really very pleasant. Strong hints of cocoa, earth and even coffee beans wafted from the chocolate and gave good insight in to the taste that was to follow.
If you had read the first paragraph and a half you probably would have guessed that this was going to turn out to be a none to positive review but I gladly say that I only have good things to say from now on. Breaking the chocolate apart I was instantly met with a sound that all chocolate fans like to hear and a wonderful 'SNAP' immediately confirmed that this was a very fresh chocolate. As you may have gathered from the name this was a 38% cocoa recipe with the cocoa beans sourced from a RA certified farm in Costa Rica. As much as that was good to know, it was really the taste I was interested in and it thankfully fantastic. Placing a piece on my tongue I was straight away met with a full bodied taste with the cocoa establishing a really chocolatey rich flavour base under the creamy undercurrent that had a honey like sweetness to it. As the chocolate softly melted into it's liqour form a delightful note of vanilla rounded the cocoa edge on the taste, leaving a longing bourbon note in the mouth. For a milk chocolate this was a very flavoursome experience and although I would of happily eaten more, half a bar at a time made for a decent serving size.
Overall this was one of the nicest milk chocolates I have had in a long in time, and in terms of taste I would put it up there with the likes of the Thorntons Tonka bean bar which remains of my favourites to this very day. To be honest I couldn't have cared less where the ingredients came from, and had the cocoa been farmed in Bognor Regis I wouldn't have thought anything more, or anything less of it before tasting it. I understand sticking the product in a cardboard box would of been a bit self defeating given the Rainforest Alliance connection, though I would have liked to have seen more effort made with the presentation of the product, as the actual chocolate deserved a lot more given how outstanding it tasted. Given the volume of milk chocolates that I try you guys will probably understand that for something to get a mark as high as 9 on the taste test it has to be something special. This chocolate was exactly that, and the long vanilla and cocoa flavours made a big impression on me and left me wanting more - definitely worth trying.
7.8 out of 10