Several months ago, I was received a box of chocolate from TCHO. This American chocolate company generously sent me each of their signature chocolates as well as some chocolate-covered cacao nibs and chocolate-covered dried mango. Seeing as part of their reason for sending me such glorious freebies was hearing my opinion of their reformulated Nutty 2.0, I reviewed that one straight away. The rest, however, I saved for a metaphorical rainy day.
After the drought of styrofoam-textured sugar that was Coles Dark Cooking Chocolate and the dust storm of sourness that was Vivani’s 85%, I felt that today was precisely the right day for a rainy thunderstorm of TCHO.
(Wow. That whole metaphor-analogy bit was a bit of a stretch, wasn’t it? I fear the PhD is already sapping my creativity, and I haven’t even started it yet.)
TCHO Dark Chocolate “Citrus”
I have a complicated relationship with citrus. Lemon desserts are a favourite of mine, and yet the slightest hint of orange in sweets makes me wrinkle my nose. I think limes are heavenly in Thai-inspired dishes, but I once told my Tasmanian cousin that I didn’t like grapefruit, only to walk upstairs (it was my first morning of a week-long visit) and find a halved grapefruit, sprinkled with sugar, on my plate.
I would happily have eaten it without letting on, but unfortunately my cousin had already let his parents know that I wasn’t a fan. I still remember the feeling of mortification. (I also remember that my uncle brought me a lovely brioche from a local bakery to have instead of grapefruit the next morning.)
Suffice to say I was a teensy bit wary of this TCHO chocolate, seeing as it’s named after alleged citrus flavours. I wasn’t too worried, though, for while I’ve enjoyed TCHO’s Nutty and Chocolatey bars, I’ve never thought they were exclusively nutty- or chocolatey-flavoured. Moreover, there aren’t any actual citrus ingredients in this chocolate; it’s made simply of cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla.
Once again, TCHO impressed me with a thin-yet-super-crisp snap and glossy dark brown-black colour. When I breathed in, I was surprised to find that I could detect a high note of lemon, with a touch of yogurt, in the aroma.
Could it be? Could I have struck gold? Could I truly have found a citrus bar that played to my citrus-loves whilst steadfastly avoiding my citrus-enemies?
Readers, it could, and I had. I loved this chocolate. The zing of lemon played against the rich chocolate notes without falling into sourness, while undertones of brown sugar meant that every few nibbles, I’d find myself thinking happily of lemon curd and hot chocolate fudge sauce.
Even though there were no roasted or earthy flavours in this chocolate, which I usually tend towards, and though the cacao origin for this bar is Madagascar, which I usually find too tangy, I found myself unable to stop nibbling TCHO’s Dark Chocolate “Citrus”.
It’s vegan, organic, and consistently moreish in its combination of assertive cocoa, sweet sugar, and zesty lemon notes. TCHO, I think this is my favourite of your line-up so far.