The more I taste single origin bars from Vietnam, the more I fall in love with chocolate from this country. The beans have such a distinct flavour, unlike those from anywhere else. Compared to say, Madagascar, whose chocolate is characteristically acidic and citrusy, Vietnamese chocolate is spicy and rich, as if wisps of cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices have been delicately infused into it.
Needless to say, when I heard about Erithaj and their line of exclusively Vietnamese chocolate, I had to try it.
Erithaj is a company that operates out of Strasbourg, France. However, all of their chocolate comes from Southern Vietnam, specifically the region around the Mekong Delta. Interestingly, the cacao plants are grown in and amongst coconut trees, lending to the unique terroir of Erithaj’s products.
Their bars range all the way from 40% milk to 80% dark. Despite the fact that they are all of Vietnamese origin, each has its own flavour profile, which really comes out when you taste them side by side.
One of my favourites was the 58% Mo Cay dark milk bar. Right off the bat you get notes of banana, which mellow into soft caramel. It’s the perfect balance if you want to satisfy your craving for sweet, milk chocolate while still savouring and appreciating the taste of the cacao itself.
The limited edition 70% Chu Lam bar is also worth taking note of. The beans for this bar were fermented differently from the others, such that they have taken on an intense, chocolate flavour. I know it seems redundant and not overly informative to describe chocolate as tasting like chocolate, but when you try bars like this, it all makes sense. The Chu Lam bar tastes the way you want and expect chocolate to taste.
In addition to its bars, Erithaj also offers couverture chocolate and cocoa powder, for all of your baking needs. Baking with good chocolate makes such a difference in the quality of the final product, even if it’s something as simple as a batch of fudgy brownies.
*Thanks to Erithaj for supplying the chocolate for this review. Although the chocolate was provided to me, the opinions here are exclusively my own.