This has to be one of those occasions where I wish my father had taught me to speak Polish. Manufaktura Czekolady’s 70% Ghanaian cacao ‘Grand Cru’ bar has not a word of English (or any other language, for that matter) upon it, leaving me to try and pick the bones out of the product description as best I can.
So, with the understanding that I’m making educated guesses with the aid of Google Translate, I can tell you that the company is run by Tomka SIenkiewicza and Krzyska Stypulkowskiego, or ‘Krzysiek and Tomek’ as they sign themselves. They’re a couple of schoolfriends based in Ceglow, which is just East or Warsaw and are a bean-to-bar chocolate maker. In fact, they’re the only bean-to-bar chocolate company in Poland, and they use only organic beans in their bars, and no product is ever more than six months old.
The chocolate itself comes lovingly wrapped in very thick gold foiled covered paper, and had a deep, dark colour. The chocolate has a fairly complex aroma, with some quite fruity high notes sitting above a robust ‘bottom end’. In the mouth the initial fruity acidity gives way to richer, quite bold cacao flavours mingling with a slight sweetness. It doesn’t melt quickly and has a slightly coarser mouthfeel than say a Swiss chocolate but it’s not heavy or cloying in any way, just perhaps a little less refined.
Although the cacao content is only 70% it has a depth and robustness of flavour more characteristic of chocolate with higher percentages – not a bad thing in my book, but maybe not to everyone’s tastes.