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.