Here’s another of the wide assortment of chocolate I managed to pick up on a recent trip to Finland. My schedule didn’t give me a lot of time to shop, so I was rather pleased to discover that Helsinki airport has quite an impressive range of chocolate and other artisan products available through an Eat & Joy shop there.
From what I can gather, Eat & Joy is a Farmer’s/Artisan food producer market specialising in Finnish produce ranging from fruits to fish to exotic meats (bear sausages anyone?) and of course chocolate. I had a quick chat with Aki Arjola (who was manning the shop that day) and his enthusiasm and love for Finnish produce was evident from the off. I wish I’d had more time to chat and make notes, but it was all I could manage to pick out a few items to stuff into my already bulging hand luggage before running to my flight.
This 100g slab of ‘dark’ chocolate is my first foray into fine FInnish chocolate and I was a little disappointed to discover that ‘dark’ means 54% cocoa – the European ‘bittersweet’ percentage, and that unfortunately Eat & Joy have neglected to inform us of the origins of their chocolate.
It’s a chunky slab of dark, glossy chocolate which has quite a dark aroma with subtle leathery high notes. In the mouth it melts quickly, and then the salt comes out to play. When they sprinkled the salt on this bar, they weren’t scrimping, and that’s definitely a very good thing because otherwise this chocolate might be nothing more than another reasonable, middle of the road, sort-of-sweet darkish chocolate bar.
Instead the simple addition of salt creates little bursts of contradictory flavours which in themselves serve to lift the overall taste of this bar from ‘alright I suppose’ to ‘really rather nice, could I have another piece?’. The finish of this Finnish chocolate (sorry, I had to) is light, clean and long, and there are usually little salty fireworks lurking to the end as well.
I’m not sure I’d call this ‘great’ chocolate, but I can call it moreish.