A year or so back, a lucky chance find turned up Delicaseys chocolates.
The trouble is, getting hold of these is difficult, especially in the corner of Australia where I live – no local retail outlets. So a recent trip to Sydney was an excuse to pick up some more, as well as to visit the Paddington Markets on a Saturday morning – to see the full range, taste, talk to Casey, and of course buy a few to take away.
Casey doesn’t much like having a photo taken – he’s the shy retiring sort. But when it comes to talking about chocolate, and comparing what works and what does not – he’s happy to have chat. Perhaps even more interesting, he has a stash of competitor products. When I introduced myself as “that reviewer” he was only too happy to drag them out and say “what do you think of this?” – well… when not trying his own products.
The chocolate used in his product range is Callebaut, which he points out is used for about 80% of all the Australian chocolate products using Belgian chocolate. And there is variation in Callebaut around the world, because it comes from different production sites. Casey thinks the different sugars used have an effect on flavour, and this would not surprise me at all. A little digging shows that “Belgian Chocolate” actually means “Belgian craftsmanship” – the production site need not be in Belgium.
I asked how Casey got into the chocolate business. The answer was a little surprising: he used to be a chef, but had difficulty with the unsocial hours and the creative / presentation side – as he says “Look at my packaging, you can see I’m not artistic”. Chocolate dipping, on the other hand, was something that he enjoyed. The chocolate business got started with the Orange Bliss – an accidental creation that turned out to be a masterpiece, and things have not looked back since.
And that packaging? Well, it might be simple but this clearly has not stopped the business expanding, nor was it the slightest deterrent to the crowd around the stall in the market on a Saturday morning. As one gentlemen explained: “I’m here every Saturday to stock up. I can’t get enough.” A ringing endorsement if ever there was one.
As it was, I dragged Casey away from paying customers for way too long. But I learned a lot, enjoyed the discussion, and came away with a wonderful haul.
So, here’s a selection of three – with three more to follow another day.
As the label says, slow cooked lemon slices in a 70% dark chocolate.
Each bite-size piece contains a generous slice of lemon which is luscious, juicy, and has that special flavour which comes from cooking a whole lemon. The chocolate and lemon complement each other well, there’s a nice balance. The lemon is still soft, and has a flavour that lingers long after you’ve finished eating a piece.
If you like chocolate and lemon, you’ll love this.
This came as something of a surprise, I was expecting whole chocolate coated coffee beans – much like you can buy elsewhere. This is not like that at all. It’s more of a slab that has been broken up, with coarsely ground coffee beans in.
Opening the pack lets out a huge whiff of coffee, and my first reaction was “wow”. And the tasting didn’t disappoint either. Using a ground coffee bean gets the flavour all through the chocolate so instead of the whole bean that you crunch up to get a face full of grit, this has the small pieces of coffee bean through giving a much better flavour combination.
I can see I’ll have trouble stopping myself from scoffing this down.
Cranberries are one of those strange things that has suddenly appeared on the scene in Australia – but 10 or 15 years ago we’d never heard of them. I still don’t really know what a fresh one tastes like, we only ever seem to come across Cranberry Juice – and that seems to be imported from the USA.
So I had no idea what to expect of these; the Cranberries seem to be dried but nevertheless biting onto one has a curious crunch, and whack of berry flavour, and of course… chocolate. I think I still don’t really know what a Cranberry is like, but I’ll happily eat a stack of these little beauties.