Sugah! are a company from Halifax, Nova Scotia that managed to slip under my radar until a box of their clusters appeared in my mailbox via a friend. She hadn’t sampled their chocolate before either, but liked the look of the box and who can blame her because it puts absolutely everything upfront in a charmingly simple way. So their Anise Almond Clusters are, and I quote, “Rich dark chocolate with almonds sweetened with toasted coconut – and a boost of anise oil injected for good measure.”
And that is exactly what you get – great big clusters of almond and coconut, all stuck together with some relatively dark chocolate. Opening the box, you are greeted with the aroma of anise oil which is so strong that I couldn’t help but think that it was going to be the dominant flavour too, but that didn’t turn out to be the case. But more about that later.
These are sizeable chocolates which are obviously poured into their plastic tray while they are still melted because they take on its shape, making them almost cube-shaped. It also means that getting them out of the tray is a bit of a challenge, kind of like popping out ice cubes and that I had a few airborne chocolates to deal with before tasting began in earnest.
After finding the perfect angle of attack, each bite (because these are definitely multiple bite chocolates…) is full of texture with the slivered almonds providing crunch and the coconut adding some chewiness to the proceedings. The anise, however, really does take a backseat until only chocolate is left behind, then it lingers around afterwards for a while. It is a rather pleasant combination, even if it is a little on the unusual side.
So Sugah! have impressed me, and a look at their website suggests that they have quite a few more tricks up their sleeves. I look forward to crossing their path again soon.