Notes on chocolate: buttons without the panto

<span>‘Grown in Grenada, Crafted in the Cotswolds’: L’Esterre’s remarkable dark chocolate buttons</span><span>Photograph: PR</span>
‘Grown in Grenada, Crafted in the Cotswolds’: L’Esterre’s remarkable dark chocolate buttonsPhotograph: PR

I have something very special this week. A while ago, Bobbie of L’Esterre chocolate contacted me wanting to know if I would try her chocolate. She had recently taken over the family cocoa business – started by her grandfather in 1949 – as she had found herself ‘stranded’ in Grenada, where the cocoa farm is, over the pandemic.

This is not an unusual request and I’m always happy to try new chocolate. Thing is, I didn’t expect it to be quite so good.

All the chocolate contains just two ingredients: cocoa beans and sugar. There are three variations: 70%, 72% and 85%. All come only in button form – no bars here! – which is actually a little bit genius. Who doesn’t like chocolate buttons? Not only that but they are the best-shaped chocolate buttons ever (only the chocolate buttons in Revels can beat them for shape but those are a totally different animal). L’Esterre buttons are just the right size, gently domed on both sides and shiny.

Let’s talk about the chocolate. Across all the permutations it is so smooth, delicious and not a hint of bitterness or dryness –even the 85%. This is beautiful, magical chocolate; I felt quite emotional eating it.

I had planned to send some to friends who are interested in dark chocolate but something happened between the thought and the execution of the idea and that was that I decided to keep them all for myself. If you think you don’t like dark chocolate, try these. If you like dark chocolate, do yourself a massive favour and buy some.

A 60g pouch is £7, the trio is £19 and the cocoa is grown in Grenada and made in Warwickshire.

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