There’s no denying that San Francisco’s Poco Dolce make some elegant, good looking chocolate. There’s something very appealing about their minimalistic packaging, and the large crystals of grey sea salt they sprinkle liberally on their chocolate tiles is just the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Their Bittersweet Chocolate Tiles are like mini bars of chocolates, and with seven different flavours in the range, there’s no shortage of choice. The Assorted box that found its way into my hands had four of those varieties: Ginger, Almond, Burnt Caramel and Aztec Chile. They don’t share the percentage of the chocolate they use, but the “Bittersweet” moniker and the taste suggests it is about 55-ish.
The Ginger Tiles have very generous huge pieces of candied ginger which provide a lovely tang to every bite. It isn’t very subtle but like most ginger lovers, I really don’t want to be handled with kid gloves – I want a tingling mouth once I’m finished and that’s what I got. Consider me satisfied.
The Almond Tiles are the least exciting because all they have are a few almonds thrown into the chocolate. Rather ordinary because it is exactly what the name suggests and nothing more.
The Burnt Caramel Tiles have some large pieces of their wonderful butter toffee hidden within. The toffee really does taste like it is right on the edge of being burnt, with strong tones of dark, dark brown sugar that slowly gives away to the sea salt. Poco Dolce’s butter toffee makes me very, very happy indeed.
The Aztec Chile starts off with a hint of cinnamon in the chocolate before the chili comes barrelling in and dominates in a satisfyingly burning manner. The only distraction from the heat are crunchy pumpkin seeds that give a bit of welcome texture to the tile, but this really is all about the ground chilli and there’s no restraint here. One for the lovers of spicy chocolate.
All in all, a good mix of tastes with the focus on big, bold flavours that balance out the sweeter chocolate well, although I could have done without the Almond Tile which was a bit on the dull side. Everything else I could happily eat again thanks to the not-too-sweet thing that Poco Dolce do so well.