Hachez Cocoa D’Arriba Cherry Tomato Salt

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on April 19 2009 | Leave A Comment
Hachez Cocoa D’Arriba Cherry Tomato Salt

Our sophisticated traveller and chocablogger Simon can take a break from his weirdo cedar sap and absinthe chocolates and fancy-shmancy trips to Qatar and Milan and instead stay home and scoff some Creme Eggs because I have finally found something intriguing, bizarre and foreign.

Well, foreign and far away for me, anyway. Hachez is German chocolate company that was actually established by a Belgian chocolatier, Joseph Emile Hachez, in 1890. To this day they use Ecuadorian cocoa beans shipped over to Bremen in jute sacks ready for roasting, rolling, a three day conching process and being made into classics such as their brown leaves, teddy bears and easter eggs.

Hachez have also developed a range of chocolate products that appeal to the connoisseurs amongst us – Cocoa de Maracabo at 55.5% cocoa solids; D’Arriba at 77% and Premier Cru (sounds like the name of a tween boy band) at a fairly serious 88%.

However, this time it was the flavour that appealed to me – cherry tomato salt. We know that salt sprinkles in chocolate can do a lot to enhance the bittersweet cocoa flavours, but what about tomato?

Hachez Cocoa D’Arriba Cherry Tomato Salt

The chocolate, as expected for 77%, was almost black in colour and the burnt coffee smell of serious cocoa was certainly evident when it was unwrapped.

My co-taster was Channel Nine reporter Elise Mooney from the television news program ‘A Current Affair’ as we wanted to be filmed trying something odd and this certainly fit the bill (and you can see the film here).

The chocolate was bitter, almost a bit too saliva-suckingly so, and the salt crystals appeared on the palate halfway through the experience adding an unusual, but not entirely complimentary, flavour. Instead the chocolate is too pungent for the salt to enhance and would in fact work better if more sugar was added.

As for the tomato, neither of us could taste them. We were aware that there were some tiny chewy bits in the chocolate as it melted away but they could have been nibs or coconut shreds for all we knew. The ingredients list provides some comfort in not being able to spot the tomato as they only comprise 1% of the bar and are followed by apples and then salt. Hmmm.

We then shared some with Stan the Sound Man and Ben the Camera Guy. “Yeah, I can taste the tomatoes”, Ben said eagerly but Stan merely shook his head and asked for something to wash his mouth out with before observing, “But Kath, Ben also reckons that Cadbury Dairy Milk is the Be-all and End-all of chocolate.” Good point, Stan, good point. This block serves for curiosity purposes only.


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Comments On This Post

  1. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Tomato! I think that’s a first for us!

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Hachez are just plain weird.

  2. Mariangela

    Hi Kath!
    I’ve tasted this bar before and actually the only way you can detect any trace of tomato is a certain sour taste, not entirely due to the high cocoa content… but this is when you try really hard to find it. I think too this is a strange flavour combination, and the result is unbalanced. I think this bar would be better if just used to spice a recipe (as chips sprinkled on a fresh creamy cheese, for example).
    For Dom: I also tried the “Wild Cocoa de Amazonas” bar by Hachez, and I have to admit that was reeeeally good….

  3. Hi Mariangela – I can see why you’d have to ‘try really hard’ to find it, because I was really struggling. I think that they thought it would be a great idea and really unusual but that doesn’t always mean it’s going to be a successful combination.

    What I’d like to try would be salt and cracked black pepper chocolate – is there any of that around?

  4. Hannah

    I find it impossible to resist bizarre chocolate bars, and must admit this is the first “interesting” flavour I’ve tried that I could not stomach. I’m entirely enamoured of the salt + chocolate combination, but agree with you that something just does not work in this bar.

    Also, like Ben, I could taste the tomato (though I am not a fan of Cadbury Dairy Milk – too sweet for me), and didn’t like tasting it all!

    Have you tried their less out-there flavours, such as strawberry and pepper or blackberry and cocoa nibs? (I love me some nibs.)

  5. you gave it a fair shake, and it sounds odd… and I can stretch pretty far for chocolate pairings…

  6. Hannah, I’d *love* try strawberry-and-pepper as well as blackberry and cocoa nibs – they sound like flavour combinations worth keeping my eye out for.

  7. Hannah

    Kath, it’s a shame you don’t live in Canberra! By some crazy coincidence I went to a new (to me) store after I wrote that message, and they have those two precise flavours for $2.50 each! Although if you wanted, we could do a chocolate swap, or I could just send you them, if you’re interested?

  8. Hannah, get in touch with me via my blog (there’s an email addy there) and maybe we could do a fair swap?

  9. Dom (Chocablog Staff)

    Of course, we have already reviewed the strawberry and pepper bar.

    And if anyone wants to get in touch with Kath, they can use the contact link on chocablog and it’ll find its way there. 🙂

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