By Benjamin Skipper
This is a tasting I've been waiting months to do. Hachez has piqued my interest ever since it entered my field of awareness, and their products I'm most intrigued in. Not only do they offer some fruit combinations I've hardly seen elsewhere, such as strawberry and mango-chili, they also offer them at appreciably higher cacao percentages than other companies are usually willing to go. This is something I've really been wanting to see for a long time, because par the norm I usually never see infused chocolates go above 73% cacao, and yet here Hachez is at 77%. To keep a wide variety of reviews of different chocolate types on this blog I've been uncomfortably letting this brand sit in my stash, but finally it is time for Hachez 77% cacao blackberry to have its justice.
I'm not as impressed as I thought I'd be, but nonetheless I am pleased. The first thing that struck me about this bar is how powerfully aromatic it is. As soon as I opened the wrapper the air was hit with the scent of fruit juices and blackberries, like a delicious perfume, probably the strongest smelling chocolate I've ever had. Its flavor is pleasingly berry-like and sweet, and the chocolate is very intense and dark, lacking any distinct sweetness of its own. Points are to be deducted, however, for the mouthfeel, for it's quite hard to bite off of, is overly crunchy, and has a very stubbornly slow and lumpy melt. It almost comes off as dry in a way too, as if it were transforming into some other substance rather than becoming a smooth paste.
The bar itself is divided into roughly 2/3 of an inch squares (both dimensions), about the size you'd see a common boxed candy to be, and on each square is the Hachez brand to be printed in what I believe to be the Arial font. Boring, but acceptable aesthetics nonetheless. What's strange is the the brand is printed vertically, encouraging you to hold the bar horizontally, which I find rather odd. It lacks shine and has a lumpy and streaked bottom, but the snap is excellent and the inward gradient very smooth, the blackberries so dark they're nearly impossible to see.
Another thing I'd like to mention is the packaging. The cover is vibrant with its bright berries lingering about the chocolate, and the whole cardboard sleeve feels admirably sturdy enough to protect the confection from harm. And while the bar may be bland looking, the foil it's encased in is very sharp with its bright silver tone and chrome-colored Hachez name decorations. I don't know why, but I have a thing about foil; it makes me look more forward to the chocolate, much like how Green & Black's uses gorgeous gold foil to give off the sense of fortune. What I like most is that the foil is easy to unfold, making entirely unnecessary any sort of ripping. For those of you who don't eat whole bars in one sitting this will be much easier to work with.
Given the hype I've put forth in my own mind I have to say it isn't all I hoped it to be, but I still came out satisfied. It may have a bad mouthfeel, but its aromatics are wonderful and the flavors of strong chocolate and berries permeate the entire experience deliciously. The level of darkness did nothing to undermine the sweetness of the fruit, so I still remain entirely hoping of further infused chocolates with higher cacao percentages like Hachez. For now, I am pleased by my first tasting of this company and can recommend this variety, and will be looking forward to further products.