It’s the return of the gorgeous Theo designs! The last time I showcased a chocolate from Theo’s 3400 Phinney range, I was in raptures. The Hazelnut Crunch remains one of the best milk chocolates I’ve had, although admittedly the scrumptiousness was more about the salty-toffee-roasted-nuts than the chocolate itself…
I’ve allowed this particular Theo chocolate to jump the review queue (I ate it only days ago, whereas I still have chocolates from my travels to talk about) because of a certain Broadway-and-butter-loving New Zealand lass: the ever-creative Laura of Hungry and Frozen. In her response to my self-designed chocolate with curry powder, edamame, and pomegranate granola, She Of Little Faith expressed a desire – nay, a need – to be convinced of the harmonious nature of curry and chocolate.
Laura, this is for you.
Theo Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate
From the moment I freed this chocolate from its paper cage, I knew the “curry” of the title was not going to be a subtle flavour softly pulling at my mind like near-forgotten song lyrics hiding at the edges of consciousness. No, this curry flavour was going to be more like a six-year-old tugging at his/her mother’s shirt while she talks to a fellow parent in the carpark after school. (“Mum. Mum. Mum. MUM. Mum. Mu-u-u-mmmm. Mum. Mum.”*)
How did I know the curry was going to be whizz-pow, not softly-softly? Two things. First, the aroma burst forth with strong and heady notes of toasted curry – turmeric and fenugreek were the first to emerge. Second, the chocolate’s use of yellow curry powder was physically apparent, not only in a slight tinge to the chocolate itself but on the paper in which it was encased. Wherever the chocolate had touched the paper, the paper was yellow. Like magic. See Exhibit Below:
The aroma was ridiculously enticing. I felt bubbly with happiness even before I broke off a square and placed it between my lips. When I did so break and place, my pleasure only increased. The spices are not backwards in coming forwards and, unlike the more common chilli in chocolate, are hot rather than spicy. For anyone tentative around curry-heat, beware. This chocolate creates a definite burn at the back of the throat, a burn that lingers and tantalises and makes you (or at least me) go back for more.
I noted cumin, then decided that turmeric, fenugreek, and cardamom were the leaders of the spice pack. I thought of tikka masala, ground coriander, deliciousness… I peeked at the packaging to read that the bar’s yellow curry powder incorporates coriander, turmeric, mustard, cumin, fenugreek, paprika, red pepper, cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. Yep, this ain’t no wallflower curry.
The coconut contributes to the curry flavour (you know, as in a curry with coconut in it…), but it also adds to and highlights the chocolate’s sweetness. This is a milk chocolate, after all, even if at 40% it’s at the darker edge of the milk spectrum. The coconut makes the chocolate very “bitsy”, texture-wise, so if you don’t like crunch, you may not like this.
I, personally, love Theo’s Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate. I can imagine that the strength of the curry powder could be a turn-off for many people – it’s an odd combination to get your head around, the first time you try it, but I came around so quickly that I think I’ve got whiplash.
I really wish I could get this in Australia.
* Do you remember doing that? I do. The only part I can’t remember is whether I truly thought she couldn’t hear me, or whether I knew she was ignoring me and that this attention-tug-of-war was a battle of wills.