July 6th: Zotter Ginger-Carrot "In & Out"
First off I must pay a big thank you to my pal Lee (@Chocolatereview) who recently sent me a nice parcel full of chocolates from East Europe - Cheers Lee!!! Being the fantastic guy he is, Lee took the trouble of looking at my collection of Zotter Handscooped bars reviews (See HERE), and picked out a few that I hadn't had the pleasure of giving the JCM jurisdiction on. One of the bars just so happened to be this Ginger-Carrot "In & Out" chocolate - a proposition described by the bizarre Josef Zotter as 'carrots chocolate filled with carrots-coconut cream and ginger'. Funnily enough the taste testing volunteers weren't quite as eagerly forthcoming as they are normally are when there is a sniff of Artisan du Chocolat or Hotel Chocolat doing the rounds :-)
You will likely recognise the presentation style of the bar as one of Zotter's 70.0g Handscooped chocolates - you aren't wrong. It came in the usual flat, slab style format and was wrapped in a gold foil and paper wrapper tandem. For once I thought the wrapper made some sort of sense with the ginger 'men' piggybacking on the back of the larger carrot 'creatures'. This was an insight in to the actual chocolate itself, which aesthetically looked appetising with it's cream coloured exterior and innards studded with golden pieces of candied ginger. Although finely wrapped and obviously fresh the chocolate didn't create much of an impression aroma wise with only faint hints of spice and dairy cream really detectable.
A funny thing of note for todays review is that for the first time ever my Father refused to do the photos for the site. Indeed the carrot hating 'Old Man' detests the orange coloured vegetable so much he point-blank said he would have no involvement - I have to say had this been a mushroom flavoured chocolate we could of well of had our first ever JCM chocolate refusal haha! Luckily I was still up for the challenge and was pleasantly surprised to find we had ourselves a high quality white chocolate at hand. Being a Zotter creation this wasn't your standard white chocolate and was created using carrots instead of the traditional milk powder. You would of thought that this was going to be detrimental to the creamyness of the chocolate, however the bar still retained a high level of dairy flavours with it's inner coconut cream. The white chocolate had a good smooth melt and had did indeed have just a tiny inclination of carrot vegetable in it's aftertaste. In a well balanced fashion, the majority of the taste experience was headlined by the stronger ginger and creamy milk coconut participants. The flavour journey was complex, yet at the same time none to busy, and made for an exciting taste development that was interesting from beginning to end.
Overall this chocolate vastly exceeded expectations and disproved my initial preconceptions that ginger was only really an ingredient that was well matched for dark chocolate. The carrot element will no doubt put some people off, but it was really only a small piece of the experience which was more dominated by both the ginger and coconut influences. As ever with Zotter chocolates I thought the presentation was top class though I still would like them to try and differentiate this Handscooped chocolates with a little design work to the chocolates themselves. Whilst I can nitpick at the aesthetic design, I can't really fault the actual chocolate as for what it was it was done very well. All three major components were integrated well and they made for a satisfying, not to sweet, multi-dimensional white chocoalte. If you have a look in the archives you wont find yourself too many reviews where I give a white chocolate so much praise. I feel comfortable giving this the thumbs up to any white chocolate or flavour adventurous fans.
8.0 out of 10