Thursday, June 25, 2009
Lillie Belle Farms: The Wild Thing
Such was my experience with The Wild Thing chocolate bar from Lillie Belle Farms. So after eating my sample from Jeff at Lillie Belle Farms that I got at the Fancy Food Show in January, I finally found a store the stocks them: Mel & Rose here in Los Angeles.
The Wild Thing is a variety of chocolate known as cru sauvage which, conveniently enough means, wild vintage (or wild source). The beans are from feral cacao trees from old plantation properties in Bolivia that have been harvested. Like many “volunteer” plants that pop up long after a garden or farm is untended, they possess all the crucial characteristics of the well tended trees, but a little something else. Perhaps a little more of the true essence of cacao that made it so attractive to the ancient Americans.
The bar itself is wonderfully molded, I like a thick bar. It has the Lillie Belle logo on it, and though that’s pretty too, it doesn’t really make for easy portioning.
It’s a moderately dark bar at 68%. The wrapper mentions that the beans are roasted a low temperatures and then refined for nearly three days.
The color is a nice, solid brown with a hint of deep red. The thick pieces give a lot of room for developing the texture on the tongue. It’s sweet at first, but the melt is smooth and immediate. The primary notes that hit me first were brown sugar and raisin, but as the flavor develops there’s a slight dry bite that holds some cherry, tobacco and coffee notes.
The texture was really what blew me away on this bar. I love the extra silky melt, bright snap and shiny molding.
The bar is made with only three ingredients: cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar. No vanilla, no soy. (Though made in facility that does have soy, so not for soy allergic folks - same goes for nuts & dairy.) As far as I know, this chocolate is the Max Felchlin Cru Sauvage, just remelted (and nicely priced, if you ask me).
My only hesitation with the bar (besides the fact that I don’t like falling in love with things in short supply) is the packaging. While it looks nice, the wrapper is a bit thin, as is the foil. The paper overwrap is excessively glued, and pasted to the foil at that, so I never had any luck with either bar in rewrapping it. (That’s why I have a bunch of zip lock bags.)
If you’re a chocolate fan who enjoys single origins, this is definitely one to experience.
POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:45 am
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.