I can honestly say that I have never, ever eaten 100% cocoa chocolate. Trust me, I would have remembered. I prefer milk and white chocolate (sorry for the chocolate purists out there), so delving into Firetree Chocolate was a new and memorable experience for me.
A little bit about chocolate, which is a perennial gifting favourite. From Easter and Valentine’s Day to Halloween and Christmas, there always seems to be a good time to gift, buy and eat chocolate. It is accessible yet luxurious at the same time, and I think its appeal for me, is that I get to enjoy it because it feels like it has been made just for me. (Of course it hasn’t but such is the appeal of a good bar of chocolate, that it has the shining audacity to make you feel like the Chosen One.)
Enter Firetree Chocolate into this deep, dark chocolatey landscape, who aim to give you a unique, high-end chocolate tasting experience with their chocolate crafted using single-estate cocoa sourced from volcanic islands.
Yes, you read it right, volcanic islands. Oh, and Firetree Chocolate also just happens to be vegan, nut-free and additive-free.
The firetree (cocoa tree) is found on the remote islands of the southern Pacific and Oceania, which make up part of the ‘ring of fire’ or giant circle of 452 volcanoes surrounding the ocean. If this wasn’t exotic enough for you, imagine the actual firetree with its orange flame-coloured pods, which thrive on rich and porous volcanic soil that is part of Firetree chocolate’s makeup.
I have never had chocolate that has volcanic origins. Which is why when I open the chocolate tasting set, it is with a sense of reverence (and a glass of water to clear the palate in between each nibble). Here is a quick unboxing video, isn’t the packaging pretty?
The new collection contains seven single-estate 25g Tasting Bars in a very pretty gift box. Ranging from 69% to 100% cocoa the collection is an excellent exploration in taste, a beautiful gift, and a great way to taste the full Firetree range in small bar format. I am all for small tasters these days, as they allow you to sample greater swathes of menus or products, when otherwise you’d just get full of a say one 100g bar.
This is a chocolate tasting set for connoisseurs, or those who appreciate good chocolate. I prefer my chocolate sweeter and less dark, however I had a good time tucking into these bars as I loved the mouth-feel of them. My two favourites were Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Guadalcanal 69%, and I will be buying these bars. Here are my thoughts on the entire tasting selection.
Vanuatu Malekula Island
Forest fruit notes, particularly deep red cherries with a citrus finish.
Philippines Mindanao Island
Prominent Sicilian lemon with afternotes of warm butterscotch.
Solomon Islands Makira Island
Tangy raisins from the outset with a soft caramel finish.
Madagascar Sambirano Valley
Ripe raspberries bursting in your mouth quickly followed by a refreshing citrus uplift on the finish acting as palate refresher.
Solomon Islands Guadalcanal 69%
Butterscotch blooms first, followed by tart plum. This is one my favourite chocolates.
Solomon Islands Guadalcanal 100%
Not for my palate, but for someone who appreciates deepest, darkest chocolate. I will use in baking as my chocolate brownie recipe calls for dark chocolate. The hint of sticky dates in this tasting bar will work well in the brownie recipe, I cannot wait to bake now.
Papua New Guinea
Another hot favourite. I love the flavour of candyfloss, or caramelised sugar, with faint funky whisper of mushroom. This funghi though is ghost-like, barely there, but works in the right amount, which is why this chocolate bar is one of my favourites from this tasting set.
About Firetree Chocolate
Founded by chocolate industry veterans David and Martyn, the relationship between farmer and chocolate maker is at the heart of the Firetree Chocolate operation. David and Martyn understand the significance of this hallowed relationship and strive to keep it fluid, ethical and harmonious. The end result is a chocolate product whose mouth-feel, scent and taste imbues the taster with a sense of luxury and honour.
Thank you Grace and Team Firetree Chocolate for arranging to gift me the Tasting Bar Gift Box. For more information about Firetree chocolate and its flagship tasting box please click here: https://www.firetreechocolate.com/shop/new-firetree-tasting-bar-gift-box/