September 19th: Go*Do Organic Chocolate Selection
Back in February I put up a link on the news page directing you guys to an article talking about the launch of a new brand of chocolates called Go*Do (See HERE). A few months down the line and it wasn't long before I got the opportunity to try out a few offerings from their current range. Before I talk about my thoughts on them, it's probably worth me giving you a bit of background on the brand itself. As explained in their own press article
Go*Do was "launched in October 2010 and has proven very popular in Italy and Japan". In Italian the word GODO means to enjoy "sensual pleasure" (ooooh err!), and the bars are made by a fifth-generation Italian family in their "state-of-the-art factory near the Italian Lakes". Go*Do have total control “from bean to bar – farming the cocoa, harvesting the beans, making the chocolate and forming the bars". According to their website, the "cocoa they use is organically grown in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Peru – all areas known for high quality cocoa". Supposedly this all culminates in superb bean quality and a truly sustainable brand - I think I will be the judge of that :D
Over the past week I tried out three of their current range which I sampled in 35.0g mini bar portions. The packaging and presentation of the range was hardly what I would call unique (remarkably similar to Green & Blacks if you ask me!) but I thought it did the job nonetheless with it's paper sleeve and inner foil wrapping combo. Below are my thoughts on the bars I tried.
It made sense to start off with the plain dark chocolate offering I had so this was the first bar of theirs that I tried. My initial feelings placing the first few blocks on my tongue were rather similar to how I ended up feeling about the range as a whole - tasty but unspectacular. The first flavour influences to greet me were a plethora of milky cocoa notes and these established a pleasant unsweetened, chocolatey cocoa taste from the onset. The texture of the melt was kind and smooth - this was definitely the best paced and most pleasant mouthfeel of the three on show today. The only real thing holding this chocolate back from being one of true quality was it's lack of progression from it's initial flavour establishment. The dark chocolate taste was fresh and non-bitter, but it lacked a little depth and didn't have the definition of say a Hotel Chocolat or even a Lindt dark chocolate.
6.8 out of 10
With the above lack of flavour development evident across the plain dark chocolate I was hoping the additional coffee influence here would solve a few of these problems. To an extent the coffee factor did exactly this, however there were some additional very obvious drawbacks due to it's inclusion. The back of the pack revealed that the bar contained 10.0% coffee nibs - thats tiny little pieces of coffee beans to you unawares folk! The obvious plus side of this was that the dark now had that extra dimension of flavour, with the strong tasting coffee coming through strongly in both aroma and taste. Unfortunately the drawback of these nibs were that they were almost a complete chocolate spoiler for me, as they brought a horrible gritty feel to the mouthfeel and melt. I loved the taste of this one but texturally it wasn't nice.
7.3 out of 10
Did I do my usual trick of saving the best until last? Well no not quite, but it was still pretty good. Out of three this was the one I had least faith in - not many manufactures can make decent white chocolate so why could an infant brand like Go*Do belong in their company!? Well I'm pleased to say that Go*Do managed to do a relatively good job here - they certainly have a good base white chocolate to which I hope they will do some flavoured varieties with later down the line. Taste wise I would say it was similar to the Green & Black's vanilla white chocolate with it's light milky taste noted very lightly with a touch of well rounded bourbon vanilla. It didn't quite have the creamy long lasting taste of some of the real top white chocolates I have reviewed previously, but it was noticeably higher quality than the cheap sugary abysses of the white chocolate world.
7.1 out of 10
Overall its understandable the scores awarded here might not be too inspiring for many of you, but I hope I have got across the point that I believe Go*Do is a brand with some real potential. The chocolate itself is of a better than average quality, however I think to make themselves really stand out from a very packed market they will have to make some refinements in their packaging, presentation and possibly introduce some truly unique flavour combinations. At present I think they are positioned way too closely to the likes of Green & Blacks for them to have any decent brand cut through here in the UK. If they are to make a mark on the UK chocosphere they are going to have to offer a bit more than what they are currently bringing to the table.