Why the upper case in the case of the latter two initial letters? Why, because this a part of the very name of the range I’m relishing – Sue Gilmour’s ‘Wonderful World of Chocolate‘. Exemplified by the aforementioned flavours, this wonder woman specialises in beautiful botanicals; all paired with top quality choc and packaged like works of edible art.
Because to Sue, creating chocolate is absolutely an artform. She knows we all judge a book by its cover and a bar by its wrapper, so sensibly asserts that if a chocolate’s worth tasting, it should be tastily presented. That’s certainly the case here – a skilled in-house illustrator (husband Doug) rolls up his sleeves to pattern each paper sleeve with its own unique renderings, reminiscent of Victorian botanical illustrations.
This talented chocolatier should justly become just as illustrious as any artist held in high regard. Stripped bare, the bars are just as beautiful. In order to identify the chocolate that finds most favour with the intended flavour of a new addition, Sue samples her way through an array of choc options; low- to high-percentage; snow-white to pitchy-dark.
It’s dirty work, but someone’s gotta do it. And Sue is tip-top at her trade. She’s no stranger to a bit of literal dirty work, either. The ‘Wonderful World…‘ was initially inspired by Sue’s love for gardening; hence the use of lavender, rose, and peppermint that are every bit at home chucked into her chocolate bars as they are gently growing in her English country garden.
Chocolatiers can be a bolshy bunch, foisting whatever they fancy upon their fans and expecting them to gobble it up with glassy-eyed admiration. But Sue seems to have studied at the ‘two ears, one mouth’ school of thought. White chocolate with cardamom is a case in point – the pairing picked by her Twitter followers. I’m glad they selected the spice, because in my capacity as Indian food writer, The Spice Scribe, it was this bar that caught my eye and captured my imagination.
Imagine my delight, then, upon discovering that Indian-style spice was a serious theme in Sue’s ‘Wonderful World of Chocolate’. It seems that spice suits Sue, who was awarded a Great Taste gold star for a chocolate bar flavoured with a local chai that’s blended. nearby. Smoked Indian chilli is another milky marvel. Off the subject of spice and over on the dark side, Guatemalan coffee sounds very much like my cup of tea.
The spice is equally nice bringing gingery warmth to a rich 70% Saint Domingue chocolate, or adding hot hot heat to an even deeper darker bar combining chilli with orange. Less-mellow lemon mingles with more-mellow milk chocolate, whilst salt adds a savoury edge to that same citrus in a dark bar inspired by ‘holiday mojitos’ – the latter bar winning a HEFF Diamond Award.
After a fine feast on a fair few squares, I logged onto the t’internet for a good old gander. Shuffling through Sue’s website, my nose picked up a scent like a well-trained hog. Truffles! And more besides – squares and shards sections, too. So it transpires that the Wonderful World is quickly expanding into a whole universe – one of which I am universally approving.