/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Casino Dark With Bits of Cacao Bean
Casino Dark With Bits of Cacao
Posted: 13 December 2011
The Casino 72% dark chocolate bar with bits of cacao bean was my first taste experiment. Is it good? The chocolate had a nice snap, wasn't too bitter for a 72%, and had an adequate amount of cacao bean bits, listed at 10%.
I'll keep rolling the die at this Casino if the company can keep delivering this quality at this price.
price/gram: USD 0.022
Cocoa %: 72
I was moseying on through the
local Big C supermarket to do some grocery shopping, and my
eyes came across several of these Casino brand bars, all
made in France. I'd only heard of Casino a month or
two prior. My wife had come home from Big C with
several Casino brand pizzas in hand, purchased for very
reasonable prices by Thai standards. The quality of
these frozen pizzas was superb, and we'd regularly serve
them to guests as a snack.
It was only from doing
research for these French chocolate bars that I discovered the
Casino Group is a humungous food conglomerate, not just
some small regional food producer. Casino consists of
11,663 stores and 230,000 employees. In 2010, the Group
had over €29bn in revenues and
€1.3bn in trading profits.
At the time I picked these
French chocolate bars off the shelves, I did so largely because the price was right for Fairtrade
European-made chocolate. I was also desperate to add new
brands to the Chocolate Republic. I didn't realize then that
I was really picking up the store's self-branded bar since I
wasn't yet aware Big C is owned by the Casino Group.
then can't I find the Casino pizzas in stock anymore at the
local Big C's?
It's nothing new for me to
review a self-branded bar at the Chocolate Republic.
The very Big C where I purchased these bars was a Carrefour
store just six months ago. Before the changeover, I
bought a few Carrefour
self-branded bars. Australia's supermarket
giant Coles offers its own
at significant discounts. The UK supermarket hotshot
Tesco has started selling its
at its Tesco-Lotus supermarkets in Thailand.
Casino sells its bars with a twist. Carrefour, Coles,
Tesco, and the other big boys have other companies
manufacture the bars for them. Carrefour consulted
different multinational bigwigs in France and Germany to
manufacturer their bars. Coles went to Belgium.
Tesco to Italy. Casino? As far as I know,
the Casino bars are made by Casino for Casino. There
was no information on the back label to suggest that the
bars were made in France for Casino.
Trying to make out the French
writing on the label, I noticed that this bar contained
cacao from the region of Saint-Domingue. Saint-Domingue
would be a new taste experience, if I only knew where the
hell it was. A quick look online lent some clues.
Saint-Domingue was a French colony on the western side of
the Caribbean island of Hispaniola until 1804, after which
it became Haiti, the poorest country in the Americas. Saint-Domingue
also happens to be the French translation of Santo Domingo,
which is the capital city of the Dominican Republic, the
nation occupying the eastern side of Hispaniola. So
where is this bar's cacao sourced from? Let's just be
safe and say somewhere on the island of Hispaniola.
The Casino 72% dark chocolate bar with bits of cacao bean
was my first taste experiment. Is it good? The chocolate had a nice snap, wasn't too bitter
for a 72%, and had an adequate amount of cacao bean bits, listed at 10%. I still don't know
why more manufacturers aren't introducing bars with bits of cacao bean. I didn't bite into this
bar with any great expectations of reaching chocolate heaven, much the same way I felt about Casino's
pizzas before biting into those. Perhaps over in France, Casino's name on a label lends the product
some prestige. Over here in Thailand, unfamiliar with the brand, I went into this as I would any
self branded grocery store chocolate and was very pleasantly surprised.
This wasn't the taste sensation that Scharfen Berger's
Nibby bar was, but come to your senses. This Casino
bar was less than half the price. I'll keep rolling the die at this Casino if the
company can keep delivering
this quality at this price.