Chocolate week may have been last week but the chance to attend a chocolate tasting is always welcome in my books. This week I ventured to Fortnum and Mason to try Q chocolate – the designer chocolate created by Samantha Aquim which contains nothing but cocoa butter, cocoa mass and a pinch of sugar. The chocolate is created from Brazilian cocoa beans and focuses on the idea of revealing the true flavour of the cocoa bean the way nature intended.
Fortnum and Mason in itself is a sensory wonderland (and the place which will exclusively stock the Q chocolate) which made it the perfect setting to try the bars which comes in six varieties ranging from soft (55%, 60% and 65%) to intense (75%, 80% and 85%).
I began the tasting admiring the packaging of the bars and the large box it was presented in. Each 50G bar is beautiful; in comparison to the typically plain and sleek designs that so many of us are used to seeing when we shop for that sweet, indulgent treat, the Q bars display the rainforest, proudly, with plenty of detail and a strong design that would make it stand out in any room. The design of the package is different for each bar depending on the level of intensity of the cocoa mass inside; animals adorn the front of each package and range from tropical birds to armadillos and mammals. The box which featured samples of each bar was similarly decorated with a rainforest print and was also wrapped with a beautiful medallion embellished with Christ the Redeemer, making every aspect a celebration of Brazil and its iconic produce.
The chocolate itself dares you to test your palate and taste something different by discarding the assumptions you have about chocolate – particularly the bars above 70%. I tried the highest available – the 85% – and where typical chocolate at the percentage would be shockingly bitter this bar was sweeter but nevertheless just as intense. Being able to taste chocolate that has so obviously been crafted with such love and passion was an interesting experience; understanding the chocolate process and the way these bars have been created will no doubt please many a chocolate enthusiast.