Friday, 10 September 2010

September 10th: Rococo Artisan Bar Organic Dark Cardamom

Kcal ??? Fat ??? Fat(sats) ??? Carbs ???

One of the most common criticisms that I receive, and that hold my hands up to, is that I don't feature enough smaller UK chocolate companies on this site. In an effort to try cater for the demand, I have recently been on the look out for some suitable products to feature. After some searching I was led in the direction of a company called Rococo, which I saw highly acclaimed on the sites of Chocablog and Chocolate Reviews. The backstory behind Rococo is that it was founded in 1983 by a lady by the name of Chantal Coady, and currently has three shops in London, England. On the Rococo website their great deal of information regarding the organic nature of their chocolate, and how they were inspired by the Grenada Chocolate Company to produce 'ethical chocolate' ... you can read all of this HERE.

Rococo sell the majority of their products through their three flagship stores and their online shop, though they also have some limited distribution in Waitrose. Personally, I haven't had the pleasure of going to one of their stores as yet, so I took the Waitrose option for tracking some of their chocolate down. Priced at pretty expensive £3.50, I bought this 70.0g Organic Dark Cardamom, and I was instantly impressed by the packaging which really stood out to me on the shelf. To command such a premium price you are going to have to 'look the part', and thought the very stylish looking decorative wrapper was very unique. The packet itself was more of vinyl plastic sleeve - it's hard to describe but you're going to have to trust me it look brilliant.

Contained inside this wonderful looking packaging the chocolate was also similarly inviting and I was impressed to see a Rococo emblem inscribed on the middle portion of the bar. Breaking the pieces apart each break was met with a fantastic 'snap', which alongside the forthcoming cocoa scents only further went to raise anticipation. At this point the only thing at more of a premium than the price were expectations :D I'm glad to report the taste didn't let it down. Placing the first block on my mouth the flavours weren't shy in establishing themselves and a red fruit noted cocoa taste was quickly registered. As the chocolate gathered heat the melt progressed at a nice rate and with a pleasant smoothness, with the cocoa flavours becoming increasingly stronger as it did so. At first I thought the taste was a little on the sweet side for a 65% cocoa solids recipe, though the latter stages of the experience brought about a ginger like note to the taste which delivered an extra flavour dimension. This ginger hint was no doubt brought to the party by the cardamom influence and it was a very welcome addition as it gave the chocolate a very distinct, slightly spiced aftertaste. This was a chocolate that I found relatively rich, and best eaten in small tasting portions.

Overall I have been very impressed with my first experience of the Rococo range, and it will no doubt be one I will be dipping back into again very soon. In the context of my all time favourite dark chocolates such as Hotel Chocolat's 85% and The Grenada Company bar I reviewed last month, I wouldn't say this Organic Dark Cardamom quite has the same depth in taste, but it was still a very enjoyable flavoursome chocolate. What I believe this chocolate did very well, and better than a lot of other dark chocolates out there, is that it was a full, well rounded package. The presentation of this product was really first class, and I doubt I have done it justice with the photographs I have posted of the wrapper and the chocolate. As I have said above the taste wasn't up there with the 'best in class', however it was still a delicious chocolate that offered a beautifully classy set of complex and forthcoming cocoa flavours. I guess the only thing that might be questionable about this Rococo product today is the price - £3.50 for 70.0g of chocolate is about as price premium as they come. I would say that if you have an interest in trying all different types and brands of dark chocolate, Rococo is a company that you should be taking a looking at. There will be more to come soon from Rococo on ChocolateMission!

8.8 out of 10

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