I really am most impressed with my local Foodland store. They only opened recently, but the range of chocolate is most impressive. Not only do they carry the usual range from Cadbury, Nestlé, and so on, but they also have a whole range of strange and unusual things that seem to be hard to find anywhere else; certainly things not carried by the other big supermarket chains.
Strangely though, they split their chocolate into two locations in the store: There is the usual huge floor to ceiling racks of the big name brands, and then there is the smaller section of health foods / imports and strange stuff (the things that, in my childhood would have been called “foreign muck”). This is of course where a bit of spelunking pays off. And it was here I found the Kaoka range.
Kaoka comes from France, and they make quite a big deal on the packaging about organic, fair trade, relationships with growers, yada yada. Sounds a lot like Green & Blacks, in their early days. The test is always in what the product is like, and I’m pleased to say this one is pretty damn good.
The block is only 100 grams, so comparable to your run-of-the-mill Lindt, but priced a bit higher. The cocoa content is only 55% – a bit light on for a Dark / Noir but I guess it scrapes in – and there are plenty of others out there similar.
When we open the pack, we see that the block breaks into pretty big pieces – again similar in size to Lindt. It seems a bit much at first, perhaps smaller pieces would be preferable. The trying will tell.
The actual breaking of a piece of is most impressive – some chocolate just won’t snap, even the really dark ones. This does – in fact, its quite solid and hard to break, and makes a great sound when it does. The aroma is not especially pronounced – so there are not really any hints there. But on tasting – the orange kicks in and complements the chocolate very well.
The chocolate is rich, there is no bitterness at all, and the sweetness is noticeable but not objectionable. For a 55% chocolate, this is quite exceptional. I was expecting more sweetness, the lack of it is quite an achievement. And the orange is neither too strong, nor too weak. Like Baby Bears porridge, its Juuuuust Riiiiight.
I kept going back for more samples while writing this. This is very moreish. I’m looking forward to racing back to Foodland to get a few of the other products in the Kaoka range. When I get ‘em, I’ll report back!