You won’t have heard of Beryl’s Chocolates unless you’ve traveled over to the Far East, where they enjoy quite a big market in Malaysia. Their website tells us that they use Ghanaian cacao in their products. It also provides a brief ‘chocolate encyclopaedia’ which serves to offer answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about cacao in general – mostly lifted from other sources, but a nice touch nonetheless.
Oh, and the Beryl’s Song. I can’t recall ever having visited a chocolate maker’s website and being treated to the company song before (in this case a woman singing over a little light jazz piano while Voiceover Man lists some of the products on offer) and was mildly disappointed to find that there wasn’t a Japanese version of the song on the Japanese version of their site!
This little box of ‘Black Bitter’ miniature slabs is a strange creature. Inside the cardboard box is a foil sealed plastic tray – apparently a favoured packaging method in Malaysia – which is home to 34g of chocolate. The listed ingredients are given as ‘Dark Chocolate (100%)’ followed by a breakdown of ingredients, but no mention of actual final cacao content, which is mildly annoying.
The chocolate is most definitely not 100% cacao, but it is dark and it is slightly bitter, but I would be surprised if this chocolate had as much as 72% cacao. It’s a decent enough product but compared with some of the dark chocolate coming out of the UK, Europe and America, it doesn’t really shine. There again, in terms of pricing it wasn’t premium chocolate. The initial dark chocolate flavours are there but there’s also an underlying sweetness which reminded me of the Patchi chocolates I bought in Qatar a couple of years ago. Unlike the Patchi chocolates this doesn;t have that slightly greasy finish (thank goodness)
Over the course of several years’ traveling hither and yon it has become apparent that the Far East and Middle East still have a way to go before they catch up in terms of producing fine chocolate. I do have another Beryl’s offering on hand – I just hope it’s better than this effort!