Dark Chocolate that is!
My colleagues – most of whom have visited Melbourne and the Koko Black stores there, have been teasing me with details of the delectable truffles they purchased on their last visit – none of which (oddly enough) made it into our office for morning tea.
However, I can forgive this lapse since we are now less than a month from the opening of the Claremont store. I asked the Koko Black Communications Manager, Marian, if I could have a little detail about the chocolatier they are sending to Perth.
We are to host Kim Linssen – originally from Reuver, in Holland. Now part of the municipality of Reuver is the village of Leeuwin - ‘lioness’ in Dutch. Leeuwin is a name very familiar to Western Australians as the name of the very first ship to chart the South West coastline. We have landmarks (an entire cape!), parks and wines named for the ship, which may itself have been named for the little village near Reuver from which Koko Black’s Claremont store chocolatier originates.
If fact, little is known of the ship, or her origins, or her voyage in 1622 for which the ship’s log has been lost, but it is nice to imagine that such a connection exists.
Not that it really matters – in the end, what most people are interested in is “what can we expect?”
The background research I have been doing suggests that Koko Black are very keep on producing a quality product that will challenge the sugar-and-milk-coated palates of most West Australians. Quality chocolate is something that has been hard to come by and the need to meet market expectations has driven many producers towards the creamier sweeter milk varieties that would be considered confection rather than chocolate in many countries.
I suspect – and I am looking forward to having this confirmed, that the philosophy of the chocolatier team at Koko Black, and of Kim Linssen in particular leans rather more towards creating a vehicle to showcase the individual characteristics of to cocoa beans they are using as the basis for their expressions of chocolaty goodness.
Not that it is all hard, dark blocks of complexity – the truffles they create look amazing and I am going to spend a week or so research the best approach to photographing these to show them to best effect when I finally get to meet the tasty morsels in person.
The store opens in March – I’ll have more details shortly, and in the meanwhile I’ll be reading up on the cocoa origins for the beans used by Koko Black. Like coffee, I was late in coming to my appreciation of good chocolate, due in a large part to the total lack of availability of the same when I was growing up. Choice was “Cadbury or Nestle” and I remember being astounded when a third option arrived in the form of Milka from Germany, which was, to be honest, a little smoother in texture than Cadbury, but otherwise sweet, milky and bland.
Everything I think, that Koko Black will be not.