Almost a year ago I was contacted by Paul, the man behind Cocoa Hernando, asking for ideas to develop a Syria inspired chocolate bar. I quickly surveyed my Facebook friends for the most "Syrian" flavour to go into a chocolate bar. We came up with a variety of flavours from pistachio nuts to rose petal jam. However the clear winner flavour was orange peel.
I fed these back to Paul but he had a much better idea than our collective twenty Syrian brains, milk chocolate with pomegranate molasses. Genius! I couldn't wait to taste it.
Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be. Although the initial experiments tasted good, I was told, the chocolate bar didn't work for a variety of reasons and ended up being replaced with dark chocolate with Damascene rose. The final product is a beautiful bar of chocolate. The rose smell and flavour is subtle and marries beautifully with some of the best dark chocolate I have ever had. Just the right amount of sweet and bitter.
This post has nothing to do with the fact my name has made a cameo appearance on the back cover of the bar as an imaginary stall holder from Damascus. I genuinely love this chocolate bar. Those of you who follow my blog know I hardly ever endorse a commercial product. I have a two fold test; the product need to be related to Syria somehow and I need to personally love it. This bar meets both.
The second reason I am writing this post is that 10% of the profits of the Syria chocolate bar will be donated to a Syrian Humanitarian Appeal in association with the Philanthropy Club
Now to the negatives, and they are small in comparison. This is a premium chocolate bar and it is priced accordingly, £5 for 70 grams of chocolate. Also there is a slight whiff of Orientalism about the whole thing which might rub some people the wrong way. Having said that, I would still happily spend the five pounds. In fact I will buy the whole range to try the next time I am in Selfridges.
Syria bar is available to order online or can be purchased from Selfridges, Harvey Nichols or from Cocoa Hernando pop-up market stalls.