We recently found Cocoa Farm by accident. They even seem to export to the UK, though the packaging is quite different. In Australia, it’s not that easy to find – some of the second line supermarkets stock the range, and strangely enough so do a great many bottle shops. In the UK, you’d call them an Off-License.
What makes this range unusual is that the cocoa comes from cacao grown in the far north of Australia – which I would have thought is not tropical enough – but you live and learn. And these guys have come from nowhere, and don’t advertise.
We’ve now tried the Mango, Lime and Chilli, and the plain Dark Chocolate. All are good. Damn good, in fact. So it was time to try one from the strange range: the Wine Chocolate is a blend of milk and dark chocolate, with raisins in that have been “plumped” with Australian Pinot Noir.
The ingredients list gives the game away: the chocolate is 38% cocoa solids, the first and most prevalent ingredient on the list is sugar. It also states that the product contains no more than 0.25% alcohol. Strange also, that the blurb says it contains raisins and the ingredients lists currants. Along with the wine comes grape skin and seed extract. No idea what that’s all about. Flavour?
Inside we get plastic/foil bag, all printed with cacao pods, or leaves, or something. Looks good, and has the practical benefit that it’s tough – so it doesn’t tear and spill bits everywhere.
Opening the pack reveals a block, with the logo and name featuring prominently. The aroma is rich with a complex flavour – there is clearly more here than just chocolate. At around A$6 for a 100 gram block, you’d hope this should be something pretty special. First appearances are promising.
Shortly before opening the pack, we’d rushed off to the cherry tree in the garden and made our first ever decent harvest. What better combination – chocolate and cherries picked off the tree 10 minutes before! No, that red colour is not something from the Demon Factory Of Fake Food, that’s what they really look like! But enough – taste testing time.
This is a nice, rich, medium body chocolate, not as dark as Darth Vader might prefer (he’s on the dark side – geddit?). But the grapes and wine add a depth and richness that makes you come back for more, and more, and more. I don’t think you can really tell that this has a Pinot Noir in it. But it sure knocks the pants off a plain fruit-and-nut. And it goes pretty well with a fruit salad and dollop of ice cream, too!