Over the years, we’ve reviewed many bars made from beans of Ghanaian origin, but we’ve never actually reviewed a bar from Ghana. So when a Ghanaian friend recently went home for a holiday, I made sure he bought back some of the local chocolates.
Golden Tree is the brand name of the Cocoa Processing Company Limited – a mostly state owned company with a mission to process some of Ghana’s cacao locally rather than exporting it all to foreign chocolate manufacturers. That has to be a good thing.
This particular bar is a 35% milk chocolate with 15% milk solids.
As you can see, the chocolate itself looks a little dull, with small holes in the corners where the chocolate hasn’t reached the edge of the mold. There’s no real shine to it and I don’t think that’s just down to the long journey from Accra.
On the other hand, it may not look great but it does have a rather nice aroma which hits you and fills the room the moment you open the wrapper.
But that dullness is more than just cosmetic. The chocolate has a dry, grainy texture and it just doesn’t melt in the mouth like it should. My Ghanaian friend insists this is by design and that local chocolate is designed not to melt in the heat, but I’m not so sure. I think it’s more likely that there’s something not quite right with their conching process.
The actual flavours of the bar are quite interesting though. It’s sweet, but the cocoa flavour itself is strong, and actually very nice. More interestingly, there’s a very noticeable coffee note going on that I haven’t tasted in other milk chocolates. The cynic in me thinks that that may have something to do with the fact that they make a coffee flavoured milk chocolate bar at the same factory, and it’s not actually meant to taste that way.
Overall, I think it’s great that Ghana is producing chocolate from its own crop, but this has a long way to go before it’s going to be up to the standards that we expect from a good quality milk chocolate here in Europe. I have some more Golden Tree chocolates to review and I’m really hoping for a little more from those. We shall see.