This is the last of the three Chocolate Tree bars I picked up on my recent trip to Edinburgh. It has crushed black peppercorns and dried strawberries, which struck me as an interesting and unusual combination.
I’d had chocolate with fancy peppercorns in before, but not one with crushed pepper, as far as I can recall.
The dark chocolate is rich but neither bitter nor brittle and the pepper is highly noticeable, giving the bar a distinctive kick. You can tell these guys take their chocolate very seriously and I think the combination of the richness of the chocolate and the spice is certainly not your average after dinner treat.
The strawberries I’m less wild about. To be honest, I am not actually a big fan of dried strawberries in the first place, so maybe choosing a bar full of them was a recipe for disaster. I find them a bit lifeless in flavour and rubbery in texture and these were no different. They were also sort of floating oddly inside the chocolate and made breaking it into pieces quite difficult. I’ve noticed before that the bars don’t always break evenly into squares as marked and the addition of large chunks of fruit certainly didn’t help.
The strawberries did provide a bit of extra sweetness to the bar which was an interesting contrast to both the dark chocolate and the pepper. In a way, it’s almost as if the bar would have been seen as too “serious” with just dark chocolate and pepper and the pink strawberries showing its more fun side so it’s less of a chin-scratching “oh, this is interesting” eating experience. I sort of wish those bursts of sweetness and fun belonged to more exciting fruit like cherries or cranberries though I am not sure those would go well with pepper (and can cranberries be seen as a fun fruit?).