Duffys Heart of Panama 70% Chocolate Bar Review
Duffys chocolate bars are made in micro batches somewhere in the middle of nowhere (outside London). Duffy himself roasts the beans and creates the chocolate bars which are then sold through a few select outlets. I had the good fortune of being able to purchase one of his bars off of him directly.
This chocolate bar hits the palette straight away announcing its fruitiness with a slight sting of bitterness to your taste buds. Building in flavour as it melts in your mouth, there is a slight grainy texture to it which really no one but someone like me is ever going to notice. I have clearly been spoiled by the 120h conch from Hotel Chocolat but this fruitiness is something you just don’t get often outside microbatch chocolate because of the whole scale of the operation.
Duffy can roast his own beans in a coffee roaster, much like Soma, whereas larger manufacturers actually use a proper chocolate roaster which does a different job. I don’t think chocolate has to lose that acidic fruitiness but it seems like it does when it goes large scale. This is why I think more and more of us are turning to producers like Duffy and Soma (and why I bought over a kilo of chocolate from Soma!).
Duffy takes time to get to know the region and the bean and he takes time to make sure he is doing what he can to get the most out of the bean. Unlike Soma, I haven’t had the chance to tour his facility but I’m sure it has familiar small-scale roasting, conching and finishing machines.
Duffy himself is an outspoken man, with ideas all his own and a way he is moving forward and everyone else be damned (or so it seemed from the conversation I overheard). Whatever the mind of the man, he is creating some of the best chocolate out there. Don’t be fooled by the simple packaging – this is some quality chocolate!