DeAngelis – Pure, Dark & Italian

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on October 12 2009 | Leave A Comment
DeAngelis - Pure, Dark & Italian

One of the things I like best about this job is discovering products, manufacturers and ideas that are completely new to me. These chocolate bars from UK-based Australian-Italian chocolate maker Rocco DeAngelis are definitely new to me.

For a start, the standard dark chocolate bar has just two ingredients; Fair Trade Single Origin Cocoa and Organic Cane Sugar. Sound good, right? Well just wait until you see the bar…

DeAngelis - Pure, Dark & Italian

You probably need to click through to see the full sized photo to get a better idea of what this bar looks like, but the appearance is almost that of snakeskin, because rather than undergoing lengthy industrial processes, the cocoa and sugar are simply forced together in a cold press.

But what’s more amazing than the look is the texture. What you end up with is a dry, crumbly, crispy, almost biscuit-like texture that’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.

The flavour is the really surprising thing though. For a product that contains only cocoa and sugar, it’s neither too sweet nor too bitter. The sugar simply takes the bitter edge of the cocoa and allows you to experience the rich, deep cocoa flavours in a way that shouldn’t scare anyone off.

DeAngelis - Pure, Dark & Italian

Here we see the pistachio flavour bar, that’s made exactly the same way, but has Bronte Pistachios added to the mix before pressing. Once again, incredibly simple but effective.

At £20 per bar, these are not cheap at all. In fact, even for a quality product like this I’m concerned that they may be pricing themselves out of the market – or at least preventing the average person from trying it in the first place.

But I do think all chocolate lovers should seek it out and try some. It manages to combine the most basic and natural chocolate ingredients in a way that shouldn’t scare away even those with the sweetest of tooths. Just don’t approach expecting a smooth, glossy bar of mass produced chocolate, and I think you’ll love it.

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Comments On This Post

  1. Mariangela

    Hi Dom,
    This kind of chocolate is called “Cioccolato Modicano” (Modican chocolate), and refers to Modica, a town in Sicily where they traditionally (there are historical grounds for this) produce chocolate this way (cocoa mass and sugar with no refining or conching process). Most producers of Cioccolato Modicano (especially the most famous ones) are to be found in this town, but to produce this kind of chocolate you do not need to live in Modica. In fact, in many fraitrade shops you can find bars like this (in several flavours). It usually divides chocolate-lovers: because of its peculiar and grainy texture, you either love it or hate it.

  2. ChocolateLover51

    This chocolate is very different – but wonderful – my favorite is the pistachio which is lovely – the best thing about it is that is does not leave a lingering taste in your mouth. I know it is expensive, but you do not need a lot of it – a little is very satisfying…

  3. Laura

    I would love to get my hands on one of these! £20 is rather steep, though… I don’t think I could justify spending so much money on one chocolate bar.

  4. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    @Chocolatelover51 – If you’re going to post comments saying how wonderful something is, it would be helpful if you disclose the fact that you are working for DeAngelis.

  5. Michael

    These look REALLY interesting, but the price is a little on the scary side especially if you end up getting hooked on them. Was the pistachio one the only one you tried?

  6. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    I only tried the plain and pistachio ones. I can’t speak for the other varieties, but I didn’t think the pistachio added a great deal to the experience myself.

  7. dabbler

    This chocolate is fantastic! I’d recommend it to everyone. But I’d also recommend going to their shop directly if you can – in Harpenden, just outside London. You can buy the bars from £7.95 each, a price much more up my street. And at the moment they have a BOGOF offer!

    And no, i don’t work for DeAngelis. I’m just a happy Harpenden resident.

  8. shelley

    Just thought I’d let you know what I thought of the chocolate. It does not taste good – way too sweet for my liking – more sugar than cocoa. I do not like to crunch on sugar when I eat chocolate. From the reviews it seemed like you could hold it in your mouth and it melted together, but that’s not how it is at all – the cocoa melst and you’re left with a mouth full of sugar – eurgh! The ones with nuts were disappointing as there were way too few nuts in them and the coffee one was just bitter! I am not sure what kind of chocolate those reveiwing this have tried in the past, but I am used to artisan chocolate and this came no where near to the level of quality I was expecting. The box was nice and the hand wrapping of the chocolate but, ultimately, I feel this was simply to convince people that what they were getting was something more than it was – cocoa and sugar pressed together!

  9. Mack

    I’ve tried two varieties of this chocolate – a bar of the pistachio and a bar of the chilli – and must say the chocolate is wonderfully rich and tasty, though the texture if very different to normal processed chocolate like Cadburys or Nestle that’s made of milk, vegetable oil and coco.
    At £20 a bar it’s not something I’d be happy to eat in one sitting, but as it’s so rich you don’t need to eat a lot at any one time to appreciate it – half of one square is enough. And as they say, having a little bit of chocolate each day is supposed to be good for you :)

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