Manufaktura Czekolady are a Polish bean-to-bar chocolate maker, and this particular bar is made with 70% Ghanaian cocoa beans. That’s somewhat unusual for a small artisan chocolate maker, as Ghana is better known for its bulk cocoa than fine flavours. The bar Simon reviewed last year also used Ghanaian beans but the company does make chocolate using cocoa from other origins as well.
Like the other bars in the range, this one comes wrapped in thick, textured paper and gold foil. When you unwrap it, you’re immediately hit by a wave of intense, chocolatey aromas. This is certainly not a subtle bar of chocolate, but it is very inviting.
It’s not just the chocolate that’s intense either. There’s a generous – if somewhat uneven – sprinkling of salt on the underside which hits you the moment you place a piece on your tongue.
Nothing about this chocolate is understated. It’s incredibly dark and chocolatey, but it lacks the refined flavour notes of finer quality cacao. There’s a slight hint of fruitiness to it, but the overwhelming feeling I get when eating it is a memory of when I first tried dark chocolate as a child. It’s robust, slightly bitter, and very, very nice.
It’s the kind of chocolate that kicks you in the face, but leaves you coming back for more. Or maybe that’s just me.
This probably isn’t the kind of thing that someone who only ever eats milk chocolate would enjoy. But I like it a lot, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to try something a little different.