/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Theobroma Dark Hazelnut
Theobroma Dark Hazelnut
Posted: 25 October 2010
I love hazelnuts in dark chocolate. It's one of the best combinations man has ever invented. And that's the point: I want hazelnuts in my dark chocolate. Not standing out in front, looking like they're arm in arm with the chocolate yet ready to flee at the first sign of attack.
price/gram: USD 0.063
Cocoa %: 54
Theobroma is a sign for
things to come. You heard it at the Chocolate Republic
first. Remember that and pay me a royalty next time
you hear it from somewhere else. Is Theobroma a sign of things
to come because its chocolate is revolutionary?
No. It's decent chocolate, but its taste sets no
trends for the future. It's the business model which
is a sign for things to come.
Theombroma is the brand name of
chocolate lounges headquartered in the state of Victoria
and found predominantly in Australia, offering on their
menu chocolate drinks, desserts, coffees, and food, plus
a shop selling chocolate bars and chocolate treats like
chocolate cigars which have plenty more calories than
real cigars, but don't stink up the home or cause obvious
forms of cancer. Aussie Dave in the past
sent me a token
milk-chocolate lollipop from Theobroma which I found a
little sweet to my taste.
Since it wasn't a real bar, just a stick with a bear head on
ussie Dave asked me not to review
it, to wait until the Dark Hazelnut bar arrived before
lashing out with my expert tastes and wit.
manufacturers are springing up all the time and trying to
carve out their niche in the marketplace, and it's getting
tougher. Supermarket shelf space is devoted to the
mainstream boys. Why should a grocery take a chance on
an untested brand? In the past, one could establish a
brand and sell it locally. A company can still do
this, but it's not as easy as it used to be. As retailing
becomes consolidated, so do the suppliers. That
grocery store down the way which used to be owned by someone
you knew personally who might've stocked your chocolates is
now part of a huge chain. They want to deal with
Nestle, Lindt, Cadbury, and Hershey, huge suppliers that can
stock all the stores in a chain. This is
not just happening with chocolates, mind you.
chocolatiers came up with another option: take one's love of
chocolates and chocolate-making directly to the public.
A choco shop is all well and good, but the quality of your
chocolates is not going to lure people in unless they
already know you're delivering quality. What about a
dessert/sweet shop/cafe? A brand need not be tested
for someone to consider having a Belgian hot chocolate at
such a place.
I cannot say
for sure if Theobroma's inspiration was chocolate lounge
first, chocolate brand second, or the other way around.
It doesn't matter. A chocolate brand is a chocolate
brand, however it's built. Lindt established its reputation as a chocolate
maker and is now moving into chocolate cafes. That was
then, this is now. There shouldn't be an issue
establishing a brand in cafes and then moving into
chocolates. Personally, I think getting involved in the
chocolate cafe side of the business would be more fun
starting out while using patrons as the guinea pigs for new
prospective delicious chocolate lines. That, I feel,
is the wave of the future: more providers offering their
chocolates in more valued-added ways to get the brand out
Republic offers full disclosure, and I'll be honest. I
wasn't expecting Theobroma's bar to be all that fantastic.
Chocolate cafes are still rather new, and the chocolates
offered within at present are more upsells than extensions of a
delicious brand. Aussie Dave sent me a
bar from another
popular Australian chocolate cafe, San Churro. That
Spanish bar was frightfully expensive and sinfully average.
I expected Theobroma to be riding the same chocolate gravy
profit train. It says on the bar's label that it was
Theobroma Food of the Gods (the official name of the
company), not by them.
bar is made in Australia, though the company doesn't hide
the fact the chocolate raw ingredients are Belgian. It says
so on the label that it's "Belgian, smooth, rich, dark,
couverture." The bar isn't cheap, still surpassing in cost
two fine similarly sized Swiss imports on sale, but it's
20% cheaper than San Churro's. Chocolate cafes
must see their fellow competitors are mainly other chocolate
cafes, not competing chocolate bar manufacturers, so bars
sold in-store are not priced with the wider chocolate market
The 54% cocoa
solids offered enough solid chocolate taste, but there
wasn't a corresponding amount of sweetness to go with it.
The bar appears to be packed with hazelnuts. Theobroma packs them in
whole, and you can actually count how many are in a 100 gram
bar. I counted 16. But here's the problem.
The whole hazelnut looks good, but when you crack
off a piece of the bar, the hazelnut becomes loose and falls
out. You're back to a Dark Chocolate bar before you've
even started. Green & Black's uses whole almonds
in the skin in their Almond
Bar, but the entire almond is hidden inside the
chocolate mass and stays there when you break pieces off.
hazelnuts in dark chocolate. It's one of the best
combinations man has ever invented. And that's
the point: I want hazelnuts in my dark
chocolate. Not standing out in front, looking like
they're arm in arm with the chocolate yet ready to flee at
the first sign of attack.
never stops talking about this place. In every e-mail
he sends, he always references the fact that he's just been
to or is going to a Theobroma branch, to schmooze, network,
and devise corresponding diets with the Melburnian
chocoholic elites. The dark chocolate hazelnut
at these prices didn't hook me and struck me, like San
Churro's bar, as an afterthought. The cafes just might
be a life-changing event.
I'm visiting Malaysia for a week in December, and I notice Theobroma has a branch at the airport. I can think of
more worthless things to do at airports than stuffing one's
face on chocolates.
Welcome to Theobroma Food of the Gods. They have the Chocolate Lounge, cafes located all over
Australia. Theombroma offers their dark chocolate hazelnut bar. It's dark and made of
Belgian chocolate. Doug's Republic discusses chocolate.