Here we have another offering from Läderach, a company whose products I found in abundance at Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport. This particular bar offered me another take on grapefruit (my previous experience being grapefruit and chilli) paired with lemongrass – something I’d only previously tasted in fine chocolate ganaches. A glance at the ingredients (helpfully provided in five languages) told me that this was a 36% milk chocolate with ten percent grapefruit crispies (whatever they are) and 0.1% lemongrass flavouring. Interesting.
If you look at the photo of the chocolate carefully (click to enlarge it), you may notice a certain grainy, dappled colouring to it. This is the ten percent ‘crispies’, which are basically small crystals of sugary grapefruit flavoured stuff that, once the chocolate has departed, clump together into a sweet, sticky lump in the mouth (if you suck all the chocolate out of the mixture carefully). I’m not sure where the lemongrass figured in all of this – possibly to tone down some of the rampant grapefruit flavour, I don’t know – but for me this was all about the grapefruit. The chocolate didn’t really stand a chance in the face of that acid, tart rush that comes as soon as it begins to break down in the mouth. I could have been eating any old rubbish and it wouldn’t have mattered a bit as far as taste went.
It often surprises me when a company produces a chocolate bar that doesn’t allow the consumer to actually taste the principal ingredient – i.e. the chocolate itself. Either the chocolate maker has lost the plot and forgotten that they’re supposed ot be producing something that tastes of cocoa, or the quality of the chocolate is so poor that there’s a perceived need to mask it with stronger flavours. The other Läderach bars I’ve tasted have, on the whole, been pretty good, which makes this a bit of an anomaly.
Sorry Läderach, but on this occasion I’m afraid it’s a big ‘Nein’.