Handsome Hungarian chocolate from Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé

rozsavolgyi csokolade Hungarian chocolate

Over the last fortnight, I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter some pretty handsome Hungarian chocolate. Much like buses, I waited ages for something from the country to come along, then it all arrived at once. Initially, I opted to take a journey of discovery with Szántó Tibor – a trip which caused me to fall for some chocolate that only increased my none-too-slight appetite to explore more of the cocoa creativity coming out of the same country.

And so to the Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé samples I’d squirreled away for the next time I got the wanderlust to vicariously return to Hungary through the medium of another edible odyssey.

The bean-to-bar industry is burgeoning – as evidenced on the new website bean.bar. Having been in the business since 2004 and having always worked with ethically-sourced cocoa, Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé is no bandwagon hopper. The company’s tiny Budapest emporium is an Aladdin’s Cave where all that glitters is most definitely not gold. Better – it’s chocolate.

The brains behind the brand are  husband-and-wife team Zsolt Szabad and Katalin Csiszar, whose chocolate factory lies in Soroksar – a suburb of the city’s south. Once you learn that the name means ‘chocolate from the valley of the roses’, it’s almost as rewarding to wrap your tongue around the words as it is the products themselves…almost.

First and foremost, those products must taste good, but once one’s knickers are firmly in place, it never hurts to don a fur coat, too. Where Rózsavölgyi  is concerned, that metaphorical fur coat takes the form of the exquisitely-ornate patterning that the square bars bear; cast in traditional Hungarian fireplace tile moulds (thanks for info, Chocablog Dom! 😉 ); and the wallpaper-like wrappers, designed by trained graphic artist Katalin.

Indeed, as an afflicted, convicted aesthete, it was no mean feat to tear the chocolate’s covers open; not to break up such beautiful bars. The things I do for my art…

Madagascar 72%

rozsavolgyi csokolade madagacar chocolate block 72 Hungary

The Trinitario beans for this bar come from Åkesson’s plantation in Madagascar’s Sambirano valley and deliver a taste that the makers describe as typically sweet and sour; reminiscent of the fresh fruit pulp. It might not be made with Criollo cacao, but it’s a cracker; the cocoa majesty owing as much to the skill of the maker as the material.

On first taste, it puts Pralus’s 100% in mind; and puts me on cloud 9 as that bar is one of my most favourites. The slight sourness emerges before the sweetness; then that sugar serves to enlivens flavours that are fruitier than the utterly buttery Pralus.

I get a slightly saffron-like medicinal note as I chew, too – but it’s one I’d happily overdose on. There’s a bit of grip on the finish which buys you time to get to grips with fine flavours worth savouring.

Puerto Cabello 74%

rozsavolgyi csokolade Puerto caballo Venezuelan chocolate block 74 Hungary

  • All these items have Great Taste Award gold star-status. Read about more 2014 winners here.
  • Hungry for more Hungarian chocolate? Read about Szántó Tibor’s  award-winning bars here.

 

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6 responses to “Handsome Hungarian chocolate from Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé

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