Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chocolate Review: Dagoba's 68% Lemon Ginger

By Benjamin Skipper

Oddly enough, my chocolate tasting has been one to introduce me to things that I've never tried before. Why not begin a trial of it embedded in chocolate? That's how I learned I like coffee, and it was also my first serious exposure to ginger as a spice, which I've now come to appreciate for its slightly tangy heat. Dagoba's 68% cacao lemon ginger was an obvious temptation then. Lemon has quite an intensity that can make the tongue tingle from the burn of its sourness, so it seems to be a perfect pairing for the heat of ginger.

To my disappointment, however, it did not work out that way. The profile is predominantly milky with a plain sweetened chocolate attribute to it (the sugar note isn't separate), and the ginger is almost entirely unnoticeable except for the grainy crispiness it adds to the texture. The lemon may or may not be there -- my tongue felt like it wanted to experience the tang of the fruit, but the anticipation just never turned into the actual sensation. What a letdown. I suspect it's because the ginger is crystallized and the lemon flavoring isn't that of a lemon oil, the latter of which I really hoped for for the sake of potency.

The mouthfeel is rather average too, with soft bites and a decent melt. The ginger pieces add a new dimension, but nothing interesting considering how fine they are. The only realm of this bar that has complexity and richness is the aroma: dried spices, flowers, heat, a faint lemon peel, and smoke.

I was really hoping for a lot of punch from this, but only got a hum-drum experience. Ginger is quite good, particularly from the chocolate that gave me my first serious impression (which I'll review later), but my tastings up to this date seem to indicate that ginger may be just as taken for granted as vanilla is.They both have great potential, which is unfortunately neglected at large. I don't recommend this variety.

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