Chocolate Unwrapped was the highlight of this year's Chocolate Week and was home to Chocolate Shops such as Artisan de Chocolat, Rococo Chocolates and Thorntons, Chocolate Companies like Chocolateandlove, Enric Rovira (one of my personal favourites) and Lucky's (love them!) as well as Chocolate Makers like Lindt Excellence, Friis Holm or Chocolate Naive.
Exploring Chocolate Unwrapped
The moment we reached the entrance of the LFM I was pretty happy that I bought our tickets in advance (there's hardly anything worse than several people standing between me and the chocolate), so we could go right in and indulge ourselves in chocolate. Though the space was small and a bit dark, it had the right temperature to taste the chocolate and there was lots of very good chocolate to taste. The range of chocolate on offer went from simple milk chocolate to the strangest combinations you can imagine, like white chocolate with tomatoes and basil. It sounds not soooo delicious, but be assured Regina Margharite Chocolate is one of the most delicious chocolates I've ever tasted!
We started our tasting with the classics: milk chocolate and dark chocolate (66%). Up to now I thought that milk chocolates and dark chocolates would not differ very much from each other, but they do. Some were really good and others, not my cup of tea. Another really interesting thing I noticed while I was eating my way through all these lovely chocolates, was their wrapping. Some were simple, some were colourful, some looked pretty commercial (they way you expect them to look when buying them at a supermarket) and others were little pieces of art (e.g. Lucky's, Chocolateandlove or Rococo Chocolates).
Finished with the basics we went on with the sophisticated and extravagant chocolates. Thorntons had several treats to taste, among them the award-winning Strawberry Choc Block. White chocolate with strawberry chunks. Never heard of it? Well, then it is definitely about time to get some of this Strawberry Choc Block and taste it! Our next stop was Enric Rovira, a Spanish Chocolate Company with the most exciting flavours at Chocolate Unwrapped - and yes, these are the guys who created the tomato-basil-chocolate. In addition to the extraordinary Regina Margherita Chocolate, they impressed me with creations such as Noir de Rose, Noir de Jasmin or Noir de Lavande. The next on the list was Lauden Chocolate, which, in my opinion, make the most beautiful chocolate in the world. Their little choclates are master pieces and I still don't know how they get this lovely decoration on the chocolates. Needless to say that these treats do not only look good, but have a marvellous taste. Just to name some there is Fresh Mint, Blackcurrant & Redcurrant (✩✩✩✩✩), Passion Fruit (✩✩✩✩✩), Lychee & Rose ...
We were lucky enough to visit two tastings:
● The Rabot Estate, which has a lovely shop at Borough Market
● Lindt chocolate and wine tasting, which was presented by Lindt's chocolatier Stefan and wine
expert Sarah Jane Evans
The Rabot Estate's tasting brought us back to the roots of chocolate with telling us about how chocolate is made, what is involved in the process and by giving us pure chocolate. The chocolate tasting comprised dark chocolate (66% cocoa), cocoa beans (not everyone's favourite) and pure chocolate, i.e. 100% cocoa (which is not what I would eat everyday as it is really strong chocolate).
Lindt's tasting was really interesting because it brought together what at first sight does not seem to go together: chocolate and wine. However, I was open to try something new and it worked out just fine since chocolate and wine have more in common than I thought. If you taste either of it, you have to follow a certain technique, so you can grasp the whole taste. You have to eat the chocolate very slowly and breathe out while you do so, which makes the taste of the chocolate more intense. Don't believe me? Buy some Sea salt Chocolate and take a piece. Eat it really quickly, the way you normally eat your favourite chocolate. I bet, you don't taste any salt. Then take a second piece and use the technique described above and you will taste the salt. By the way, Sea salt Chocolate has always been a weird combination to me, but paired with a South African Shiraz it tasted divine! The same applies to the other chocolate and wine combinations. At the end of this lovely tasting I even got a little guide which for example recommends the following combinations:
Lindt Dark Orange Intense Chocolate & Cold Chenin Blanc
Lindt White with a Touch of Vanilla & Sauvignon Blanc
Lindt Dark Chilli & Claret
Give it a try, you will like it!
All in all Chocolate Unwrapped was a fab day out and I will definitely attend next year again.