Though the summer months are usually when business is slow for chocolate makers, chocolatiers and shops, it’s still a busy time for chocoholics and bloggers like myself as we continue to buy bars to fulfill our cravings and have material to share. I’m grateful for the 10%-20% off discounts offered by various online suppliers despite the risk of chocolate meltage. Cacao Review has become one of my favorite suppliers since my first time shopping with them helped introduce me to brand new bars that I had never tried before. The Smooth Chocolator was one of them.
Their website was practically sold out on all of The Smooth Chocolator bars with the exception of this 70% Vietnam Tien Giang bar. I’m actually glad I get to try this bar because I’ve become fascinated with chocolate made with Vietnamese cacao. I’m also not familiar at all with chocolate makers based out of Australia since my focus this past year has been mainly on chocolate makers based out of North America. I hope that in the future I can learn more about and try more bars made in Australia.
The Smooth Chocolator was started in 2015 by Kim Yoon. Kim started off as a chocolatier, but after tasting bean to bar chocolate during a course on the topic and being exposed to their depth in flavor, she was inspired to start her own line of such bars. To learn more about the story behind The Smooth Chocolator, you can read a Q&A between Cocoa Runners and Kim.
The tasting notes listed on the packaging include honey and “brown dried fruits.” I’m guessing this could mean fruits like dates and raisins. In fact, when I first opened the resealable envelope, the scent of raisins punched me in the face. Though the bar arrived broken due to transit, it was still a beautiful mold to look at. I first tasted the sweetness of honey mingled with the strong grape and almost dry, tar flavor of raisins. As my bite melted the chocolate tasted tart while the raisin flavor increased in intensity. The texture was so smooth and the chocolate melted easily.
This was delicious!!! Usually when I’ve tried bars that list raisin as a flavor note, it’s minimal raisin flavor. This was definitely raisin all the way. The smooth, subtle honey helped balance out the tart raisin flavor. The aftertaste lingered with the light flavor of figs. I’m going to have a hard time sharing this bar because I might just eat all of it today and keep it to myself 😉
When I hear stories of chocolate makers who were inspired to start their businesses after being exposed to bean to bar chocolate and experiencing a myriad of deep flavors, I think about what has prevented me from returning to “grocery store” chocolate. My journey in chocolate started in the grocery store and as someone with a huge sweet tooth, getting hooked onto bean to bar chocolate took some time and training my taste buds to appreciate the depth of flavor. I used to prefer rich and creamy chocolates that would feed my sweet tooth. Bean to bar chocolate was more bitter, forcing me to slowly savor and appreciate it. I had a mental road block that first prevented me from truly enjoying bean to bar in that I had to get over the fact that chocolate is originally quite bitter and astringent. I know now that grinding down and using a melanger is used as a “flavor reducer” to decrease some of that astringency, courtesy of Ben Rasmussen. At this time, grocery store chocolate is usually too sweet or waxy for my palate.
I currently look to gelato and various other desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth. Chocolate has become a savory and sometimes still sweet treat, but I don’t use it anymore to gorge myself when I’m stressed out like I used to. In the past I would inhale my chocolate and not ever think about what subtle flavors or notes were in them. Now whenever I try any new chocolate, I automatically as if by habit smell the chocolate, take a moment to think about the scent, then let it melt in my mouth while enjoying the flavor story that unfolds. It personally amazes me to see the changes in my behavior toward chocolate when I compare my consumption of it from around the time when I first started writing Time To Eat Chocolate to today.
The Smooth Chocolator: Made in Australia
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.