Sometimes, the most unadulterated things are the best. Take Dandelion’s three single origin bars. All they contain is cocoa beans and sugar. This allows the unique characteristics of each bean to shine, and they do.
Though there are times when hints of leather and tobacco call my name, I’m a pushover for dark chocolate with a strong fruity presence. I find its lightness almost cheerful, and fully capable of lifting my spirits from the first bite.
Todd and Cam have sourced some exceptional beans and treated them with the respect they deserve, starting with their Japanese-inspired wrapping paper that begs to be recycled into a notebook cover, or the new liner for a jewelry box.
I always like the option of saving some for later, which is fairly easy as each bar has an inner liner of heavy gold foil. Its ability to completely contain what’s left is perfect for someone like me who always seems to leave a little trail of chocolate shards from less well-constructed inner wrappers.
Three bars, three countries, all 70%. The Costa Rican chocolate was marvelously fruity, with memories of soil, and a texture that melted at body temperature. The Venezuelan was also fruity, but in a completely different way. Its complexity was enhanced by a deep layer of lychee. The Madagascan bar, made with beans from the Akesson plantation, had a slightly drier finish with overtones of dark fruits, though the fruit flavor seemed less pronounced in this one than the other two. All three had a smooth, silky texture that can only come from long conching.
I would highly recommend buying all of them as a tasting set, which also saves you a little money. They weigh in at two ounces each, which may seem like a small amount of chocolate, but it is so satisfying you will savor each of the 18 squares as if it were a bar unto itself.