It is always fun to find something strange lurking in a local shop, and these circular Taza bars really do fit the bill.
Taza’s bars are notable in that they are stoneground, giving them an unusual texture which is a bit of an acquired taste. Instead of the more conventional smooth bar that slowly melts away, stoneground bars are granular because they are made of roughly ground cacao nibs and sane sugar pressed together to make something that looks chocolate-like, at least at a distance.
That’s because the chocolate discs that Taza make have a nice sheen to them, unlike Soma’s attempt at a similar bar (The Old School) which looks more like a chocolate brownie. Take a bite, however, and everything changes.
Rather than a familiar clean snap, there is a muted crumble as the chocolate slowly disintegrates. The texture is actually not too crunchy compared to the Soma bar – Taza grind things up much more although it still doesn’t melt in the usual way. It still needs a little help, meaning it requires a bit of chewing to get the flavour out. And in the case of this particular variety, that translates into some saltiness and an unexpected amount of pepper although the spices are unevenly distributed making each bite a bit of a rollercoaster.
I’d never had a bar with both salt and pepper before, and I like it. The salt highlights the earthiness of the 55% chocolate and the pepper ensures you don’t forget what you’ve been eating until a few minutes after it has gone. A very nicely balanced bar, or disc if you want to be more precise.
I should also point out that the whole thing is organic, with an impressively short ingredients list that is gluten, soy and dairy free. It also has some lovely old school packaging too – nice, thick wax paper which is held together with a sticker that states the contents can also be used to create hot chocolate too.
I didn’t bother with that – diluting chocolate always seems wasteful to me – but I will be picking up some of the other nine varieties in the range next time I go out shopping. Good stuff.