I have been enjoying Dagoba’s organic chocolate for a long time. This is my favorite bar in their line-up. The 68% cacao stands up perfectly to the bits of ginger and the subtle lemon flavor. I am not usually fond of lemon and chocolate, but the combo works wonderfully here.
One of my little pet peeves with Dagoba’s chocolates is the small amount of mix-ins, but this bar seems to have enough to sate my craving for the chewy tang of ginger. There’s something to be said for enlivening plain chocolate with other ingredients, be they toffee, nuts, dried fruit, or funkier ingredients, like maca (a substance they include in their wild and spicy Xocolatl bar).
Another annoying thing about Dagoba chocolates is the sectioning lines on the bars. If the grooves were deeper it might actally be possible to break them into neat elongated rectangles, but I haven’t had much success. My bars break into triangles, or sections of two or three rectangles. You might think this is a silly thing to comment on, but the little kid in me takes great pleasure in breaking the chocolate into its rightful shape. It’s frustrating when things don’t work. Certainly, the technology exists to mold chocolate into easily breakable parts.
If I were a chocolatier I would conduct surveys to find out what size and shape people like their chocolate broken into, and that’s the mold I would use. I think the brain likes to be tricked into thinking there’s more chocolate. This can’t be rocket science, as Bonnat and Green & Black’s both have small sections that usually come apart as they are intended to.
Why have something that detracts from the luscious experience that eating great chocolate can be? Everything affects everything. Getting nicely shaped little sections adds to my enjoyment of the bar. It’s not just a question of thinking I have more when there are mini-sections, it’s also about beauty. Rococo Chocolates in London has an elegantly stamped bar. It definitely enhances my enjoyment to open the fabulously designed pouch and see such artistry.
When we engage all five senses we can actually squeeze more joy out of any experience, including chocolate. Taste is the obvious sense all chocolatiers focus on, but seeing lovely packaging, smelling the bean’s aroma, touching the bar as it snaps into my fantasy of perfectly proportioned pieces, and hearing the crackle of foil or the crunch of my teeth on the bar all contribute mightily to the experience that is chocolate.