It’s hard not to fall in love with this bar even before unwrapping it. Like all of Grenada’s products the exotic wrapper is completely out of step with the couture cartons of today’s chocolate bars. The brilliant colours suggest the sights and sounds of the island, while the back of the wrapper declares it to be ‘handcrafted from tree to bar’. Not just bean to bar – purchased in the land of manufacture, somewhere far away in Europe or the US – but tree to bar. Further, it’s Ceres certified, and clearly handmade and hand finished with its handwritten ‘best by’ date and its bronze foiled paper wrapper.
The bar itself is splendidly rugged with a note of darkest purple to the brown colour, 8 generous squares, plus a hunky cacao bean logo at the heart. Given that there are nibs in the bar, the appearance is even more rugged than usual. Give it a brisk snap, and it releases a burst of aromas. Passion fruit, raspberry, exotic citrus, and banana, plus a creamy, chocolate warmth because the bar is 60% rather than 70%.
It melts slowly. The nibs start to be released from the chocolate even before the flavour makes itself felt. The flavour starts with a rolling wave of dark chocolate, but this then separates into a brisk lift of lemon, dark coffee notes underneath with some grassy, herbal features, a sense of muscovado sugar, and then that final impressive mouthful of nibs, which is followed by a tang of blackcurrants.
Not everyone likes nibs, but for those who do – like me – this is a clever and original bar. Grenada majors on flavour. Their bars burst with energy, and the nibs only add to the character with their crunchy texture. With their pure cacao notes, they also make a great contrast with the slightly sweeter chocolate. Like all fine chocolate it’s a bar to savour slowly and let the flavours echo over time.
UK and Europe Wholesaler HB Ingredients www.hbingredients.co.uk
Sarah Jane Evans is a Master of Wine, author of ‘Chocolate Unwrapped: Taste & Enjoy the World’s Finest Chocolate’, Pavilion Books, and one of the founder members of the Academy of Chocolate.