This bright golden-clad milk chocolate is made by the Venezuelan company El Rey, or “The King.” Though I’m sure everyone would love their chocolate to be king, the name also refers to the origin of the cacao, unsurprisingly in Venezuela. They believe it to be “the most aromatic and flavorful in the world” and have the Carenero Superior line to display this. A family business since the late ’20′s and only the second Venezuelan chocolate company, El Rey keeps to fairly traded chocolate from their own country.
The Caoba bar, named for a tree that shades cacao plants, is the only milk chocolate in the range (there are also four darks and one white.) It’s still pretty high up at 41%, which can make for a lovely chocolate, but this one’s different somehow. The ten squares, neatly stamped with the El Rey logo, smell rather like a Hershey’s bar. Um. It probably tastes something like Hershey’s, too . . . “all grown up.” It has that strong, milky caramel sweetness, but embracing chocolate instead of grease. I wonder if Hershey’s would taste like this if its production got more attention. There’s also the same innocent marshmallow flavor note in there as in Amano’s Montanya bar, also made from Venezuelan beans. The mouthfeel is nice, with all the softness of a milk chocolate, but a slower melting. That seems to be the biggest influence of its higher percentage. I might not have guessed it to have reached 40% content.
It’s a nice bar, above the average even if I wouldn’t call it King of all chocolates. Still some sort of royalty, maybe. It makes a good option when you just want a sweet, straightforward milk chocolate, but still don’t feel like going onto the candy bar level.