Back in October, Simon reviewed Artisan du Chocolat’s Mole Poblano, a sibling to this bar. Like the Mole bar, this Ginger & Lemongrass one has some notes from Artisan’s Gerard Coleman on the back of the box:
“According to traditional Chinese medicine, a healthy and happy life can only be achieved with the existence of balance between Yin and Yang. Guided by the oldest instructions of Chinese food therapy, we created this bar by complimenting cocoa and ginger, both Yang foods that warm the body with cooling Yin lemongrass. A balanced and harmonious experience.”
Firstly, as much as I tried to ignore the spelling mistake there, I couldn’t. Unless Mr Coleman really hoped to enhance the flavours by telling the cocoa beans and ginger how lovely they looked today, I think the word he was probably looking for is ‘complementing‘!
Luckily though, I did manage to ignore the fact that the whole thing sounds like a bit of old hippy nonsense to me. I’m sure Gerard will compliment my restraint.
Formalities out of the way, let’s get to the actual chocolate. You might not believe it from the first 160 words of this review, but I love pretty much everything Artisan du Chocolat do, and this is no exception. The simple but elegant box reveals an equally simple but elegant bar of milk chocolate.
I say ‘bar’, but it’s actually more of a very thin slab, weighing in at just 45 grams. The ‘chunks’ are simply raised outlines, which look pretty, but don’t really break off into regular pieces. And is is so often the case with chocolate, I just want more.
Having said that, when it does snap, it makes a lovely sound and the chocolate is a wonderful reddish brown colour. And the flavours are just as wonderful. It’s a nice, rich 40% milk chocolate that’s sweet and creamy and completely delicious.
This is a much simpler bar than the Mole one Simon reviewed, with ginger and lemongrass being the only additional flavourings, and they never overwhelm the cocoa. I absolutely love ginger in chocolate, and being used to huge chunks of candied ginger embedded in bars, I was a little disappointed at first with just how subtle the flavour is here. But that disappointment soon faded as the warmth slowly grew. This chocolate is about flavour rather than heat.
The lemongrass is even more subtle, adding a a touch of freshness to the bar, but not a great deal of distinct flavour. A touch more would have been perfect for my tastes, but as it is, it’s just enough to cool the warm ginger. A bit like Yin & Yang after all, I guess.
So another winner from Artisan. The bar didn’t last me very long, but did leave me with the urge to buy more – and to try the rest of the range as soon as possible.