Have I mentioned lately that my brother is amazing? Because he is. For so many reasons, not least of which is that I can text him the words “as quiet as a moose” from halfway across the world and he’ll reply with “A-basketball! A-thank you!” to which I’ll counter “Albert Einstein” and then he’ll say “Don’t be a ziffer” and not only will we both know exactly what the other means, but the entire exchange will feel like a hug.
Oh, and another reason is that he routinely sends me chocolate. Including this Yarra Valley Chocolaterie selection, which was — and is — some of the most innovative, exciting, worthwhile and makes-me-love-down-under chocolate I’ve ever had.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie 8 Pack Valley Bush Tucker
If you look closely at the photo above, you might understand a little of my giddiness upon opening my brother’s latest chocolate package. I’m a big supporter of Australian bush tucker, but I’ve rarely had the opportunity to taste so many indigenous herbs, fruits, nuts and spices all at once.
Each chocolate in this Yarra Valley Chocolaterie collection has a unique packaging design by Wurundjeri artist Judy Nicholson, and 50c from every bar sold goes to the Wurundjeri Tribe Council to support its Art and Craft Wellbeing Program.
There is nothing that is not awesome about Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Forest Anise Dark Chocolate
I mean, seriously? A chocolate flavoured with paperbark trees? Actual trees? AUSTRALIA YOU ARE THE BEST EVER SOMETIMES.
Blended into the 56% dark chocolate base of this Forest Anise dark chocolate were anise seed myrtle, lemon myrtle, and paperbark oil. The aroma was sweetly chocolate-y with a heady spice twist that reminded me of lemongrass and absinthe (would that be the pernod element they speak of?).
From the first bite, I could taste sweet anise but also warm vanilla and buttery caramel. The lemon myrtle indeed evoked lemongrass tea, and the herbal undercurrents of licorice (and what must have been paperback oil) made me want to click my heels.
But, instead, I kept nibbling. Because this chocolate was really good.
Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Native Fruit Spice Dark Chocolate
Deciding to stick with the dark chocolate theme (for this review’s sake, at least), I reached for the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie Native Fruit Spice Dark Chocolate next. This used the same 56% cacao base, but added in… all the things. All of them. Dried apple, forestberry herb, sumac, aniseed myrtle, mountain pepper, and rosella powder.
All the bush tucker things.
The aroma was fruity first and foremost, with dried apple, berry, banana, boysenberry, and a subtle hint of pink peppercorn all peeking out at me. I took a bite and sweetness hit, almost candy-like… candy apple? Then thyme! And a lemon twang! Ooooh sumac’s pepperiness! Anise again! More thyme and lemon myrtle! Something that reminded me of oregano! Vanilla! Herbs dancing and twirling and dancing! All the things! All the bush tucker dancing things!
I have never before tasted chocolate where such a mish-mash of flavours comes together so beautifully, so hilariously, so excitingly. Love, love, love.
Two down, six to go…
P.S. Hey, bro? Don’t call me Frankly!