Chococru are one of those chocolate companies that trade on the health benefits of dark chocolate. All of their marketing material extols the virtues of their “Extrordinary Antioxidant Cocoa”, and they sent us a wide range of products made with it.
I thought I’d take a look some of what they sent over the course of a couple of reviews, but first I wanted to look at those health claims a little.
First things first. Despite the marketing material doing its best to lead you to believe they make their own high-antioxidant cocoa, and that it’s somehow better than everyone else’s, the chocolates are in fact made with plain old Acticoa from Barry Callebaut, the world’s largest industrial chocolate company. Many, many other companies use Acticoa in their products, even Thorntons. So while it may be high in anti-oxidants (Callebaut claims three times higher than normal dark chocolate), it’s certainly not unique or exclusive.
In fact, some of the samples Chococru sent me (the chocolate pearls and cocoa powder) would seem to be little more than re-formed and re-branded versions of what Barry Callebaut already sells. I’m not a fan of that kind of thing myself.
As for the chocolates themselves, well I started with the simplest. The solid milk and dark chocolate “pearls” weigh in at 38% and 63% cocoa solids respectively. There’s no added vegetable fat or any nasties in there, though. Just cocoa mass, sugar, milk powder, emulsifier and natural vanilla.
The milk chocolate pearls are actually quite a pleasant little snack, but the dark chocolate is not very nice. There’s no complexity to it, just a few basic cocoa notes and a lot of bitterness. I didn’t like them at all, but chocolate like this is really designed to be combined with other flavours or made into desserts, rather than served on its own, so I didn’t really expect to.
The huge bouchées and more manageably sized pistachio truffles did a little better though. The addition of other flavours and textures made all the difference, although the fillings were a little firm and not particularly fresh tasting. Even so, after a few mouthfuls of each, I just found myself not wanting any more.
I honestly tried to like these, but just couldn’t get on with them. I’ve never been a huge fan of companies who build their brand around health claims, as quality dark chocolate is naturally healthy anyway. This may be higher in anti-oxidants than most, but there was little in this first selection that did it for me. If you do want to try them for yourself, they’re available in Selfridges or you can buy them online.