Apparently German company Hachez are making a bid for world domination. That can be the only explanation for their rather imaginative bars showing up all over the place because even my little corner of Canada has an impressive range of their products to choose from. I had tried their Strawberry and Green Pepper bar before and enjoyed it so when I spied an unfamiliar one, Raspberry and Balsamico, I grabbed it with high expectations that I feared it couldn’t live up to.
Their Cocoa D’Arriba line are good looking bars of chocolates. Their matt black boxes with gilt highlights looks elegant and I also like that fact that the bar inside is merely wrapped in foil instead of sealed into it because it makes it feel like a classic way to present the chocolate.
The chocolate is nice and dark – 77% and worth the price of admission on its own. It has a nice rich flavour, with just a touch of vanilla to smooth off the bitterest edges. But when Hachez adds its inventive combinations of ingredients to that lovely base, things really start to happen. Just like their strawberry bar, they use freeze-dried fruit to give the raspberry flavour and it really works. They might not be as obvious as the strawberries when it comes to the aroma of the bar, but when those little red pieces drift away from the melting chocolate in your mouth, there’s no doubt that this is a raspberry bar.
The balsamic vinegar is handled with more subtlety than expected, but that is a good thing because it would have been very easy for that flavour to absolutely dominate the bar. Instead it lurks in the background, playing off the darkness of the chocolate and just adding enough acid to make the raspberry explosions even more exciting when they burst through. The balance between the acidic fruit and vinegar is just great and works so well with the chocolate.
So what’s the downside? Nothing. Nothing at all. Definitely my favourite in the Hachez range that I’ve tasted and one I’ll be coming back to again and again.