The first thing that reached my brain when I put this piece of chocolate in my mouth was its sweetness. Not what one would normally expect from such a dark chocolate. It begins with a wash of warm caramel. There is the slightest note of citrus almost entirely overshadowed by the warmth of the caramel. Then, there is a soft bite, just a nip, from the cacao that smooths into a tart earthiness.
This is a chocolate for a cold winter night. Or, in my case, a warm San Franciscan night.
A little more on Belgian chocolate…
Belgium has King Leopold II and his aggressive foreign policies to thank for its historically rich tradition in chocolate. King Leopold II colonized the Congo, which happened to have cacao plantations, and began to import the beans to Belgium. An estimated 10 million Congolese people were killed by order of Leopold II. Thus began the journey of Belgian chocolate. There was a very bloody past, but the chocolate is really very good. They have been producing fine chocolates since the early 1800′s and introduced the world to pastilles and figurines. Therein lie the roots of the chocolate Easter bunny. They began by borrowing Swiss techniques and then went on to develop their own unique processes of chocolate creation. Also, Belgian Jean Neuhaus is credited with the first hard chocolate shell, giving birth to the great truffle revolution.