While I thoroughly enjoyed hitting up some old standby chocolate joints on my trip to Boston last year, I was very happy to try out something new. Namely, Hotel Chocolat. While I already discussed some of the Christmas-themed treats I picked up when I stopped in, I did, as always, ensure that I got at least some pure chocolate so that I could accurately assess the quality and character of the brand’s unadulterated chocolate. My selection? A plain milk chocolate bar that featured 43% cocoa solids.
I was drawn to this bar in particular because the cocoa is from Venezuela. After years of enjoying El Rey and Valrhona, which source their beans from Venezuela, I’m a strong believer that Venezuela is responsible for producing some of the most exquisite cocoa butter in the world.From a texture perspective, this bar was no exception, and the high-quality cocoa butter is evident as this bar has an exceptional melt.
The taste was creamy and nutty, with chocolate flavor. The bar was sweet, but the sugar was not overpowering. Though I enjoyed this bar a great deal, I’m not convinced that it’s much better than El Rey milk chocolate, which I can pick up for $9.99/lb from my local Whole Foods. Next time I visit Hotel Chocolat, I will probably save room in my luggage and pick up a more unique chocolate creation instead.
Is there a region that grows particularly good cocoa in your opinion?