As I wind down the last few bars of the British Chocolate Invasion, I draw close to the end with an organic chocolate producer from London called Montezuma's. Luckily I have five bars to go through from Montezuma's.
Alas, a chocolate website after my own heart. Chock full of information. I hate it when I don't know much about a producer and have to go digging for information further than I need to go which should be the very source of the product it self. It's not about lazy blogging, but sometimes you have to read 20 pages or more of other sources just to gather up enough information for one post here.
Ex-lawyers turned chocolate entrepreneurs, Helen and Simon Pattinson, founded Montezuma’s in 2000 hand making their chocolate with one little machine and one shop in Brighton.
"It seems incredible that just a few years ago the smell of chocolate was one of the things that made Simon and I want to abandon our careers in the law despite the fact we had spent many years studying to become well paid solicitors in a large law firm in London.
Having become totally disillusioned with London, law and all the trappings of a money dominated life, we resigned from our jobs, sold our Putney house and put all our possessions into storage, leaving for South America virtually on the next plane.
We cannot remember why South America attracted us but I think it was probably the huge diversity of climates, cultures and landscapes . . . we were not disappointed.
Read more about their story here.
Ideals and Fair Trade:
We have founding principles that we shout about and aren’t shy to thrust into the limelight. We call this Trading Fairly.
These principles haven’t been bolted on or constructed to join a bandwagon, and for us that means working in harmony with the environment, our partners, our customers, and of course the societies we touch.
It’s fair to say our ideals run deeper than our pockets and always will do. Even if you’re mad and don’t want to buy any chocolate, please, please, read some of this stuff about what we actually do and think; including why we are not always comfortable with “Fairtrade”. Shock horror!
Only Natural Ingredients:
The difference between good, bad and ugly foods depends largely on the quality of the constituent ingredients and chocolate is certainly no exception.
We take great pride in sourcing and using only the finest ingredients; from Dominican Republic cocoa beans we consider to be the world’s best to fine and dark Madagascan vanilla.
The only thing missing from the website is the region of Venezuela the beans come from. Just a vague description of a "Lost World" type of environment some where in Venezuela. But there is a definite answer on bean varietals using Trinitario and Criollo blends. The beans were probably sourced from the northeast coastal regions of Venezuela.
But they do make up for it with the tags for this chocolate on their website indicated extensively what is and what isn't in this product and who this product is suitable for.
Traces of nuts.
Free of Genetically Modified ingredients.
Additive & coloring free.
Suitable for vegetarians.
Type: Milk, 43%
Bean Varietal: Trinitario and Criollo
Ingredients: Cocoa solids 43%, milk solids 19% whole milk and powder, sugar, and vanilla.
Sample Size: 100g or 3.5 oz
Appearance: Smooth and shiny bar with basic non-monogrammed molding. Virtually blemish free and gorgeous light caramel coloring.
Snap: Fairly good snap for a milk chocolate, but still rather dull with a low thud versus a crisp snap. Clean break lines.
Aroma: Butter, cream, caramel, soft roasted cocoa.
Taste: Sweet, huge caramel taste, lovely light roasted cocoa. Tastes like a rich hot chocolate made with milk in bar form.
Texture: Smooth, creamy, fast melt time.
This was fantastic milk chocolate. It tasted exactly the way a rich hot chocolate made with steamed milk tastes. It also had wonderful, rich caramel notes. Soft roasted cocoa aromas with a lovely roasted cocoa taste. With 43% cocoa for a milk chocolate, it's borderline on a dark-milk giving way to much richer cocoa flavors that interacted well with the milky and caramel tastes.
It was a touch sweet, but balanced by rich butter caramel flavors. It had a creamy smooth texture with long lingering cocoa and caramel flavors. But interestingly enough it finished fairly dry on the palate.
Sometimes I don't need to go into a lot of detail to explain why something tastes so good. It is what it is and I say it's great. It's as simple as that. Given what I have said about butter, caramel, creamy hot chocolate flavors, that should be enough to let you know that you should buy this product. And buy a lot of it.
Final Score: 95