Now that bean-to-bar makers are all the rage, it is reassuring to see that Canada isn’t getting left behind thanks to the likes of Gatineau’s Olivia Chocolat. They are another one of those companies who appear to take their chocolate making extremely seriously, espousing the merits of their philosophy and technique on the back of the box. It’s pretty convincing too, with all the talk of organic cocoa beans from Criollo and Trinitario but, of course, the real test is how it tastes.
The chocolate is nice and dark, although my bar had bloomed just a little but that didn’t appear to have any impact on how it tasted. It’s a hefty 76% yet manages avoid the usual bitterness that comes with the higher percentages. Instead, it has more of the leather and tobacco undertones that are a bit of an acquired taste; I like them.
There’s also some vanilla in there too, but it is completely overshadowed by the very Canadian addition of maple syrup. It is probably a good thing they stopped at just a touch of maple syrup because there is a huge maple flavour which is almost perfectly balanced by the depth of the chocolate. The maple isn’t shy about hanging around afterwards either, almost coating your mouth with the intense, earthy sweetness.
The downside of the bar is that it is hard to eat much in one sitting – everything about it is rich and distinctive, and a little goes a long way. And that is meant in the nicest way possible. It won’t be for everyone, but those looking for a touch of sweetness with their dark, dark chocolate will enjoy this rather unique bar.