At 61% cacao solids this bar is lower than the other two Guido Castagna bars I've tried, that have both been 76%, so I was expecting slightly more of a lighter eating affair. I couldn't find details of what cacao had actually been used in the blend of this bar and on Guido Castagna's website it simply states 'same mixture' so I presume that means the same as the Extra Dark Tablet, which is also 61%, that I haven't had the chance to try. This bar uses a mixture of cacao from Arriba & Venezuela and is described as a 'sweet and not bitter bar'.
The Granella di Fava then also has cocoa nib pieces from Chontalpa - Mexico, added into the bar to add a nice crunchy element.
The bar is packaged in the same way as all of the other ones I've tried, elegantly wrapped in paper and the bar itself has a gorgeous sheen and clean snap. In terms of flavour profile I have to agree with the description, this bar is no where near as bitter and robust as the Arriba 76% I reviewed previously; instead this bar is much more my to my tastes providing a gorgeous creamy melt with lovely buttery hints of caramel and nut resulting in a lighter, sweeter eat.
Unfortunately I felt that due to the addition of the cocoa nib pieces it ruined the melt of the bar; the melt was delicious, rich, truffle like and then it was ruined when you got to the intrusive bits of cocoa nibs that almost scratched at the roof of your mouth. I always feel that the addition of crunchy pieces like this almost implies that the bar should be chewed and crunched as opposed to being allowed to melt slowly and for a high quality bar like this that has such a wonderful melt and flavours to unleash I just don't think it should be chewed rapidly. It's almost as if the chocolate used in the bar and the addition of cocoa nibs are battling with one another - should I chew it and enjoy the textural contrast the nibs provide? Or should I allow it to melt to fully enjoy the flavours, but then be met with scratchy cocoa nib pieces?
I'd imagine from my reaction to the bar that I would love the Extra Dark Tablet which is essentially the same thing without the nibs in terms of flavour profile; but unfortunately the nibs in this just detracted from the quality of this bar rather than added anything to it, in my opinion.
Taste - 8.4/10 - Taste is beautiful, my favourite of all of the bars I've tried, rich, sweet with hints of caramel and nut.
Texture - 5/10 - Gorgeous melt - why ruin it with scratchy cocoa nibs?!
Appearance - 7.3/10 - Stunning bar as the others.
Price - 7/10 - At € 5.00 for 100g it is definitely affordable, as long as you don't mind the cocoa nibs.
Overall - 6.9/10 - Delicious bar ruined by the cocoa nibs, I just don't feel they added anything to the bar.
__________________________________________________________________________________WHO WHO FOR?
Anyone that doesn't mind those nibbly bits of cocoa - as other than that the bar was delicious.
WHERE TO BUY?
Online at Guido Castagna's website here.