These chocolates were sent to us by Art Pollard of Amano Chocolate.
I was going to review them separately, but they’re so similar I thought I’d review them together. They’re both 56g bars of solid, 70% dark chocolate. The only difference is the origin of the cacao beans used.
But make no mistake, this is proper chocolate. From Utah, no less.
At first glance, both bars look exactly the same, with the only difference being the illustration on the front of the box. Indeed, if you stuff a chunk into your mouth and chew it like a chunk of Dairy Milk (or heaven forbid… Hershey’s)… they taste pretty much the same too.
You can tell you’re dealing with a quality product from the start. Each bar is packaged in a matt grey box with shiny gold highlights and carefully wrapped in gold foil. Opening the foil and you’re greeted with a beautiful, glossy bar of dark chocolate, which each square marked with the Amano logo.
In order to fully appreciate these chocolates, you have to eat them properly. That may seem a strange thing to do, but it’s not that difficult. Just place a chunk on your tongue and let it melt slowly. As it melts, it releases a whole host of interesting flavours, and you’ll begin to see just how different two identical bars made from different beans can be.
If you really want to explore all the flavours, Amano has an in-depth guide to tasting chocolate on their web site. It’s probably overkill for most people, but it does make interesting reading.
After extensive testing, I found the Madagascar bar to be my favourite. It’s slightly sweeter and fruitier than the Ocumare bar and really quite pleasant. If you only buy one bar, I’d recommend the Madagascar, but if you really want to learn about chocolate, get both and follow the Amano tasting guide and you’ll discover just how different two bars that superficially look the same can be.
For dark chocolate lovers, I can’t recommend these highly enough. If you’ve never had dark chocolate or simply don’t like it, you may not going to appreciate the work that’s gone into creating them.
It’s certainly not a chocolate you should stuff your face with or try to satisfy a sugar craving with, but a few chunks eaten slowly and savoured will definitely lift your day.