May 26th: Zotter Labooko Nicaragua 60% / Peru 40%
In previous Zotter reviews I have brought you all my views on some of their weirdest and wacky flavour combinations. From their Bacon Bits bar to their Walnuts & Cheese offering, I have covered a decent amount of ground when it comes to their 'Handscooped' range, but up until today I hadn't touched upon any of the other parts of their portfolio. This leads me up nicely to introducing you to the first of their Labooko bars that I will be featuring on the website in the coming weeks.
These Labooko bars are described on the Zotter website as being 'two pure "bean to bar" chocolates in one pack, and today I was trying out a milk chocolate duo. As you can see from the photo above, both came packaged in a single paper wrapper, but were segregated by thick layers of branded gold foil. I can't say I have managed to make the link between the characters on the wrapper and the actual chocolates (hmm!?), but I thought the arty design of the wrapper combined with the delicate pattern work on both the chocolates ensured the Zotter premium brand feel carried through from the Handscooped range.
Nicaragua 60% - According to Wiki Nicaeagua is the largest country in Central America (knowledge eh!?). I hadn't heard of many 60% cocoa milk chocolates before, but according to the wrapper this bar was billed as exactly that. If you look at the photograph above you will be unsurprised to hear that this bar was the darker of the two you can see, and it was not only more imposing in this sense, but also in regards to smell as it had a more pungent cocoa fragrance. When it came to the taste the flavours were very smooth, but the cocoa flavours were stronger and more forthcoming than your standard milk chocolate. During the latter stages of the soft melt suggestions of red fruit came through, which did bring a decent bit of variance to the overall taste. In a perfect world it would of been nice for the melt to have been a little bit slower in the pace so the flavours could of been enjoyed just a little bit longer.
8.2 out of 10
Peru 40% - According to the on-pack blurb this chocolate was formed of beans hailing from the South American country Peru, which has a population of over 29 million people (ok ok I will stop with the wikipedia now :D ) This was the lighter coloured of the two bars and was a little more subtle when it came to aroma and taste. In comparison to the Nicaragua I did find this chocolate a touch less flavoursome, and although the more dairy rooted flavours were just as smooth flowing, they didn't quite have the same depth. In terms of melt the chocolate was similarly soft and easy melting in the mouth, but I felt again that it could of done with a touch more grip, which would have made the total flavour experience that little bit richer.
7.9 out of 10
Overall these both fulfilled my expectations and were some very fine tasting chocolates. As you will have read in my previous Zotter reviews, whilst I have sometimes doubted some of their flavour combinations, I have never been able to fault their core chocolate, so it was no surprise that I found both of these bars as pleasant as I did. Out of the two, I found the Nicaragua bar more flavoursome as it had a bit more depth and variance in it's taste, though this was purely down to personal preference. I'm sure other people who like creamier, sweeter chocolates will more prefer the Peru chocolate with its more milk based taste - it really is down to what you want from a chocolate as to where your preference will lie. This has been a good start for the Labooko range on ChocolateMission - bring on the next few double acts!