Milk Chocolate. I adored the stuff when I was little and even now I still have a soft spot for it. Unfortunately I’ve lost my sweet tooth and many of the milk chocolate around seems so overpowering sweet and clingy in nature, it fell out of my grace but for a couple of times a year.
When I discovered fine chocolate, I wonder of the artisan chocolate makers could make the tide turn and make me fall in love all over again.
Today I unwrapped Chocolate Naive’s 53% Milk chocolate bar with anticipation. Lithuania’s finest Bean-To-Bar chocolatier might change my point of view.
I just love their sleeves, folded like a precious book. On the front cover, the chocolates’ main identification. This bar features 53% cacao from Java/Papua New Guinea, lightly roasted and conched for 60 hours. On the back the usual ingredients info and a very entertaining little story about a chocolate maker trying to milk a cow. Great touch.
Open the sleeve, and inside you find a lyrical text about Chocolate Naive and it’s values and dreams.
The actual bar is sealed inside a transparent blister. Oh how unfortunate, the bar has been smashed inside its box during transport. A dozen of pieces awaited me.
Bean: Criollo + Forastero
Origin: Java + Papua New Guinea
Production: Chocolate Naive – Lithuania
Price: Unknown – sample
Color: as to be expected, a light shade of brown, yet darker than most milk bars.
Aroma: Earthy cacao, slightly roasted, not really creamy.
Taste: This is a surprisingly slow starting bar, opening with roasted hazelnuts, honey and has a touch of a liquor aroma to it. The texture is quiet grainy – you can almost make out sugar crystals – and the melt is especially long. The diary itself doesn’t come through clearly, yet a nice nutty tone remains present and the bar shows great cacao aromas, even slightly fruity for an instant, before finishing off with light caramel. Even though the cacao percentage is low, it isn’t sweet but nicely balanced. The aftertaste remains nutty and reveals more of a milk profile, but doesn’t linger as long as most dark chocolates.
Did this bar set a new standard when it comes to milk chocolate for me? Not exactly. While it is nice, it falls in between classes. For a milk chocolate it offers a lot of flavor, but I miss a luscious cream feel and aroma. It aims for taste, but falls short compared to a great dark bar. Maybe it is just a personal thing. Oh wait, chocolate is as personal as it gets! And that’s why I love it!