My friend and colleague Don has been visiting from Australia’s Deep North – in this case, it’s not as far north as one can go, but Townsville, in tropical Far North Queensland. Land of Bananas, Tea plantations, Coffee, Australia’s own Cocoa plantations, and Ginger.
Don also knows about my obsession with chocolate ginger – the ultimate match made in heaven. If you get a good chocolate ginger, you know perfection and care not about anything else.
The story goes that he was being dragged around Townsville by a wife and daughter, and happened upon a shop called “A Spoonful of Sugar”. And found they had chocolate ginger. And bought a wee liddle pack for me! And then brought it down on the plane last week when he came a-visiting for terribly serious work matters. I did some hunting on the web – the photos of the shop look pretty good. OK, really good. A kid could have a wickedly good time in there. Can I go there now? Please?
It looks like they must make the chocolate ginger themselves – the pack lists no ingredients, no nutrition info, just the name. Very similar to some other chocolate ginger I’ve had before from North Queensland. I hear that a lot gets sold through local markets – chokky ginger is something of a local cottage industry.
The best chocolate ginger I ever had came from a similar area, and I rated it 10 out of 10. Perhaps that’s because I remember it better than it really was. I’ll get some more of it one day.
To make a really good chocolate ginger, it must be root ginger, its needs to be crystallised or, better, a good glacé, it needs to be big, it needs a dark chocolate coating which is not sweet – there is plenty of sweetness in the ginger, and there needs to be lots and lots of that coating. Use a thin, sweet, milk chocolate coating and it’s horrible.
To check, I therefore had to chop on of these little suckers up:
Unfortunately the photo does not do justice. The piece is so big that you can only just fit it in your mouth (we are off to a good start). The chocolate is dark, and very thick – about 3 to 5 mm. The ginger is big, juicy, and luscious. Chopping it up inspires confidence. Then I tried it. The chocolate has an interesting taste, it reminds me a bit of something a little smoky, and it melts very slowly. Not too sweet. Is it compounded? Not sure. Don’t care. I like it. The ginger is fabulous – sweet, spicy, chewy, and complements the chocolate really well.
I’m really pleased with this one. The shop has a web store. I might have to order some for delivery in the mail. I’m giving it 9 out of 10.