Being in a chocolate mood, and not really able to stop thinking about various beans, flavours et cetera, I was out shopping and came across a large chocolate display at a nearby tea- and coffee store. They carried Lindt, Café Tasse, Vahlrona, Poulain and Dolfin. I’ve had Dolfin before and I really like their interesting combinations, so I picked up three bars – all three are dark, 70% cocoa solids. The first is with Nougatine, tiny pieces of caramelized almonds. It says on their homepage that each almond is broken by hand with a hammer for getting the optimum size. Well. I don’t know. But it tasted divine. The chocolate itself is very deep, dark and almost on the edge of being bitter, as 70% chocolate generally is. It melts slowly but surely, leaving a satiny coating in your mouth – and the small lovely almond pieces. These are very sweet, and would certainly have been way too much for a lighter chocolate. This is however a pairing made in heaven.
The second Dolfin bar is made with fresh ginger. Not crystallized or caramelized ginger – fresh. Very, very interesting – ginger is pretty sharp. (And hey – this should be the ultimate diet food since ginger is also good for speeding up your metabolism!) You can smell it right away when you open it – it’s a very special scent. And this chocolate really tastes like nothing else. For chocolate, it’s not very dessert-y or sweet – the ginger makes it a lot more food-y. It’s fairly spicy, too. I like it a lot, but this is probably one that a lot of people would pass up.
The third Dolfin is really quite traditional – it’s made with mint. And just what chocolate manufacturer doesn’t carry something chocolate and mint? But this, this is different! This is real, actual mint leaves, like the ones I grow on my balcony! Real ones! Just dried out a bit. As with the ginger, you can really taste the freshness, and it’s just amazing. It’s truly different from all other mint chocolate – a very special creation. As with the two other bars I tried, the pieces of flavouring are very tiny – no big huge chunks of stuff at all, this is really focusing on the chocolate and the flavouring is just there to enhance the overall experience.
Something I love about Dolfin is their packaging. The bars are so pretty, and they’re all in a self-sealing packet just like loose tobacco. Very smart, because chocolate can lose its aroma pretty fast, and we certainly don’t want that to happen, do we now? Because I’d have felt silly to buy the whole assortment (he had pretty much the full line) I also bought a basic Lindt bar, the Madagascar. It has vanilla in it, but is also 70% cacao solids and thus; very dark. Lindt may not have great packaging – foil – but it keeps the chocolate nice and pretty since it never rubs or bruises on something else. No scratches – which Dolfin does have.
Anyway. The vanilla is really, really noticeable. It tastes almost like milk chocolate, because of it. The chocolate itself is a lot fruitier, and I’d wager it’s made with the fruity Criollo bean. Not too far of a stretch since the origin *is* marked as Madagascar, where I do remember that Criollo is often grown. Oh well. This is a really good chocolate for when you want something a little more candy-ish than just very very dark.
I drank mineral water while tasting these four – it’s good to have something to rinse your palate with. Now I’ll have my bars in my desk drawer, all ready for when I’m just desperate for chocolate. (Tomorrow.)