Côte d’Or Sesame Noir 70%

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on October 31 2008 | Leave A Comment

My friend Ashleigh and his lovely wife Marie have recently returned from taking their two sons on a four week European holiday. Now, to you US, UK and European readers bear in mind that such a trip from Australia is a huge undertaking. Think $10,000 for the flights alone, a 30 hour journey home with your knees up under your chin and a mere 22kg weight allowance for each traveller.

Therefore, it was a real feat for them to bring over two kilograms of chocolate they’d gathered from Switzerland, Germany, France and England all the way back to South Australia. Ashleigh’s eyes gleamed with pride at his selection and Marie said, “Go on, pick some and try them out.” She didn’t need to ask twice…

Cote d’Or is a French brand and the ‘Degustation Sesame Noir 70%’ was chosen because it seemed so unusual. Sesame often ends up in a paste or crammed into a health bar, and this was neither of those two unappetising options. Besides, isn’t degustation normally associated with picking the right wine to go with the right meal?

Now I’ve taken the liberty of taking a photo of it alongside the curiously named Schwarze Herren Schokolade….Pour Messeurs. Roughly translated (and I’m trusting Ashleigh here) it means Black Chocolate for Men but, as he points out, it is a combination of both German and French. I suspect, as in the UK Yorkies advertisements or Solo drinks here in Australia, they’re aiming for the – Are you Man Enough for Really Dark Chocolate? market, but please feel free to set me straight if that’s incorrect.

Back to the 70% dark with sesame. As you can see, for several thousand kilometres of travel secreted in suitcases, the elephants have withstood the rigours pretty well and still have their trunks up.

There was a lovely cocoa whiff as the foil was ripped away which always bodes well for the eager chocolate reviewer. The sesame seeds are liberally sprinkled throughout the chocolate and are very lightly coated in fine toffee which not only adds a sugary kick in contrast to the bittersweet chocolate but also an extra crunch to enhance the burnt toastiness (yes, my wine tasting superlatives need an overhaul) of the seeds.

We all loved this one, even my karate buddies Naomi and Sarah who arrived part way through the sampling. It’s great to see chocolatiers using not only the best quality dark chocolate but also combining it with creative flavour combinations. This is really sensational stuff and goes down extremely well with freshly ground and brewed coffee (or tea, according to Marie). Cote d’Or have released their dark 70% and dark with raspberries here, but not this particular block. Hopefully they’ll rectify the situation very soon. If you’re lucky enough to have it in your neck of the woods, buy it.

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Comments On This Post

  1. Simon

    This is becoming spooky.
    I have had some sesame chocolate in the fridge for quite a while now. It is rather lovely, though isn’t it?

  2. It most certainly is! I just wish it would find it’s way onto the shelves here in Australia so it can be a regular treat rather than a ‘whenever I know someone heading off to Europe’ rarity.

  3. I was stunned at how delicious it was.

    The local supermarket in Paris must have been running a promotion, they had the stuff piled up a couple of metres high in a huge display. Weird thing was, I seem to be the only one (mad foreigner?) paying any attention to it.

    We also have some of the Cote D’Or Dark + Raspberries. I *think* we bought this during the travels but (shudder) can’t remember for sure. Even though it might come from the Kraft megacorp, it is very nice indeed. Little bits of crunchy raspberry SOMETHING all through. Mmmm! Reason for hedging a bit about the big companies – I know full well what happens when the quarterly earnings don’t meet expectations: something gets cut. One hopes it is not the product quality.

  4. your right kath im going to make that happen becouse kraft owns cote dor im ganna send them a email i cant wait tell they bring them to melbourne

  5. Chocolate and sesame! Who would have thought that would make a good combination? Does anyone know of any other brands that combine these ingredients? Would love to taste it.

  6. Simon

    Pam – keep reading Chocablog. Kath and I seem to find similar products with spooky regularity.

  7. Thanks Kath,
    You have done us proud! A great review as always, and an extra pleasure to have shared the experience in person with you.

  8. The Norwegian brand Freia also do a fantastic dark chocolate with roasted sesame seeds. It’s also half the price of the other flavours, for some strange reason. We love it.

  9. Zayna, I wish you the very best of luck – use any of your means, methods and wiles possible to bring this block to Australia!

    Simon – we’re kind of spooky choco-twins methinks!

    Ashleigh – you too are on the same wavelength because the Cote d’Or raspberry has also been eaten, enjoyed and will soon (depending on Uncle Dom, of course) appear on chocablog.

    Pam – find or make a friend going to Europe and beg them to bring you back some…unless you’re already from there?

    Marie – thanks mate and right back atcha!

    Meli – are you from Norway or….? Do you know where Freia is available outside of Norway, because it sounds rather intriguing.

  10. chocofan

    just for you to now this chocolate (Cote d’Or) is very common in Europe (you can find it in every supermarket at least in France, Belgium etc…

    some sites like (Indigeen) http://www.indigeen.com are proposing much more outstanding brands

  11. @meli: The Freia Premium Dark series is only a re-branding of the classic Cote d’Or bars. Freia only started selling them a few years after beeing taken over by Kraft Foods, which incidentally also owns Cote d’Or.

    @Kath: A slight error in your post, the Cote d’Or brand originated in Belgium, not in France. Founded on cocoa beans from the African Cote d’Or by Charles Neuhaus, hence the Elephant logo.

    Also they have recently released to limited edition spécialités bars in Norway at least. Both are filled bars, one with Lemon-crystals and a hint of ginger, and the other with ground almonds and figs. Very interesting chocolates!

  12. todd stoner

    Is there anyone who knows a website you can purchase Freia lemon ginger Premium chocolate bars. I have searched and have come up with nothing. This is one of the most amazing chocolates I have tasted and can’t believe i can’t get it in the states. Help

  13. dani

    In Spain I find cote d’or specialities (orange,pistache and raspberry),but not sesame.. I found it in south France.. why do they not distribute all the specialities? May I buy them online? Thanks in advance.

  14. Bernadette

    Wow, I would love to try this! Has it come out in Australia yet?

  15. Stacie

    I just recently got back from a trip to France and this chocolate bar is amazing! (Literally my French friends and I ate it every day for a snack or dessert). Try it paired with fresh strawberries and a rose wine from Provence – a very tasty combination.

    Anyone know where you can purchase this in the US?

  16. Ellen

    Oh my goodness, I went to France last fall and bought three bars of it. Now I only have one bar left. I love the sophistocated flavor that the sesame adds to the chocolate. I really want to find a place to buy something similar in America. If you are in Europe and see this in the store, try it!!!