On the Shelf: Origin Chocolate’s eight dark chocolate flavours

Newly available across the country, Australian-made single origin dark chocolate Origin Chocolate brings a different perspective to the comprehensive confectionery market. Just in time for Christmas, the brand has started offering “Christmas Bundles” express posted anywhere in Australia, so we take a look at all eight flavours in our latest On the Shelf.

Origin Chocolate source cacao beans from a total of eight different countries: Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, Uganda, and Ghana. Efforts have been made to maintain the natural flavour of each environment as closely as possible, and the natural approach gives some great insight into the difference of the beans from country to country.

The brand’s founder and owner Matt Chimenti comes from a background in artisanal food production, so brings a certain integrity and dedication to provenance that distinguishes these chocolate bars, focusing less on the excessive sweetness and zoning in on that natural bitterness.

“My chocolate is alive, it is organic with ever changing tastes. I’ve tried to capture the complexity of flavour and aroma that can only be found in the finest single original artisanal choclate”, said Matt, adding that chocolate is “truly one of natures gifts”.

The idea of “bean-to-bar” chocolate started only last year, originating in Orange and then sending Matt off on to a tasting journey around the world. Throughout the journey and bringing it all back to the chocolate, Matt has remained strongly committed to a natural chocolate, sourcing the cacao beans from Australian Organic (ACO), fair trade, and certified Rain Forest Alliance producers. The package is 100% biodegradable with the chocolate first being wrapped in waxed paper and then places in a brown craft paper pouch. The bar’s are also completely vegan friendly, and the chocolate is stone mill ground using 100% natural ingredients with no dairy, no lactose, no soy, or soy lecithin, no wheat, and no gluten.

As such, the nutritional value of the chocolate is great, with more magnesium than any other food, and traces of iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E.

Of course, the strength of the chocolate differs along with the flavour from country to country. Peru (85%) brings in those sweet raspberry tones and then finishes with some citrus notes; Belize (75%) has some sweet toffee, soft dark and red fruits, and a lovely creamy mouth feel; Bolivia (75%) has deeper coffee notes with a bit of caramel in the finish; Ecuador (68%) brings in some creamy macadamia and toffee biscuit; Madagasgar (68%) is vibrant with vine fruits, strawberry, and grape; Dominican Republic (65%) has a really sweet, wooden aroma and a palate of rum and raisins; Uganda (60%) has a simple apricot flavour to it; and Ghana (55%) is light, smoky, and long with a finish of bitter coffee.

Those who like their chocolate nice and sweet should go for the Dominican Republic, Madagasgar, Bolivia, and Belize Origin Chocolates, with the rest bringing in the more bitter side with subtle notes as mentioned above. It’s an interesting approach to chocolate, and one which does pay off both in taste and texture. Some may be a bit too bitter to be accessible to the masses, but all have those great subtle differences that will have you picking and choosing your favourite and sticking with it, perhaps with a deeper appreciation to that country’s produce.

Origin Chocolate is offering a Christmas package with seven chocolate bars bundled for $49 (includes express postage). The bundles are insulated so heat doesn’t affect the chocolates. Orders can be made to Matt@originchocolate.com.au.

Origin Chocolate is also available through Harris Farm, fine purveyors and providores Australia wide in either 100g single original chocolate bars (RRP $7.95) or the aforementioned Christmas Bundle.

For more info head to www.originchocolate.com.au