Writing for Chocablog has changed me. I used to be able to enjoy going to places and not spend my time digging around in shops obsessively looking for unusual kinds of chocolate, but not any more. Now I spend every waking minute trying to find the best that Canada has to offer, so I can share with the rest of the world. You’re welcome.
Maybe I exaggerate, but I did happen to find some intriguing small bars hiding in the corner of a touristy shop in St. Andrews (a lovely little seaside town in New Brunswick, Canada) when I was out grabbing lunch. And they weren’t the usual tacky touristy kind of chocolate either – seeing both organic and 70% on the wrapper was good enough for me.
It turns out that all the bars that Organicfair make follow that same basic outline: dark 70% organic chocolate with stuff added to it. And the stuff is what makes their range so interesting because they have some pretty imaginative combinations of spices, fruits and other yummy things. I went with the most obvious one – Canadiana – which throws some Maple Syrup, Sundried Apples and Alder Smoked Salt into the chocolate.
The bar itself is a nice size – big enough to get a good taste, but small enough that you can make a pretty convincing argument for not sharing with anyone else. The chocolate isn’t very glossy, nor the darkest I’ve seen for the percentage and that it is also true of the flavour. The chocolate is definitely secondary to the other ingredients and considering how the selling point is those other ingredients, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The star of Canadiana is the salt. I don’t think I’d pick it out as being smoked salt, nor would I recognise how alder tastes anyway, but the combination of salt and surprisingly mild chocolate is a good one. The apple pieces provide some chewiness because of their generous size, and when chewed they give some recognisable appley goodness. The maple syrup, on the other hand, is absolutely nowhere to be seen – if it didn’t say it was there on the label, I’d have no idea it was here. That’s a real shame because the final transition to some sweetness at the end would be the perfect finish after the salt finally fades away.
So Organicfair’s Canadiana isn’t a bad bar but it just doesn’t deliver what it promises on the outside. It is good enough to make me want to delve into the rest of their range to see if any of the 14 other bars have that perfect balance that is sadly lacking here.