Notes on chocolate: a reader’s tip pays off…


Coming from Italy, as I may have mentioned once or twice (cough), I started to discover the UK rather late in life. I was 30 before I had fish and chips on Hastings beach, 31 before I went to Scotland. I’ve missed discovering new places, new shops, new chocolate, so I welcome the recommendation of readers.

Try Continuum Conceits, said Mary, who had discovered them while staying nearby in Herefordshire. So I did. This is always a bit of a risk, I mean imagine! Putting my hard-earned money where I expect you to. I ordered 42%-cocoa milk chocolate Peruvian coffee, date and hazelnut, £6.50; fig, pistachio and cardamom in 76%-cocoa dark chocolate, £6.50; and Agen prunes stuffed with armagnac prune purée and coated in chocolate (one milk, one dark), £5.50 for two.

The packaging looks really homemade (charmingly so); the bars – tablettes, as they call them – are pleasingly heavyweight at 120g, a fact I only discovered after eating one bar in two days. And all the chocolate is made in extremely limited numbers each month.

They were all amazing. I absolutely loved the coffee, date and hazelnut. It was very heavy on the coffee (broken-up coffee beans), but everything worked beautifully. The 76%, which I had expected to like but not love, was so tasty it was hard to believe it had such a high cocoa content. If you know someone – and maybe that someone is you – who likes dark chocolate with bits in, this is a special find.

The covered prunes were also delicious, but don’t eat them in polite company as they are messy.