Marc Demarquette is one of the most respected and ethical chocolatiers in the industry. He produces fine quality chocolate, sourcing all his cacao from fairly paid farmers. The chocolate ganaches in The Orient Collection are made using cacao beans from Ben Tre, the capital city of Vietnam. Each £30 box contains fourteen chocolates with seven different flavours, two of which have won gold star taste awards. But does that mean they pass the test? Let's see.
The first award winner is Jasmine and Matcha Green Tea. The creamy ganache has been infused with jasmine flowers and green tea to give it a subtle herbal flavour. Just as with all the chocolates in this collection, the texture is incredibly smooth, soft, and light. These chocolates give you immediate and lasting satisfaction. You could have just one and feel fulfilled. Despite it being an award winner, I personally found the Jasmine and Matcha Green Tea the least interesting of the bunch.
The second award winner is Szechuan Pepper. Although made with peppercorns, there is also a few notes of citrus; the acidity cuts through some of the fiery flavours so that it is not overpowering.
These might have been the award winners, but they were not my favourite. If I were going to give a gold star, it would go to the Coconut & Sesame. Creamy, nutty, fruity, tropical. I could identify each flavour, and they complemented one another beautifully.
The definite runner up is Mixed Citrus. An acidic, tangy masterpiece with a strong aroma of oranges, satsumas. and other such fruits. Tastes as good as it smells.
Other noteworthy flavours are the Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime, as well the Ginger & Galangal, which gives of a warm spicy sensation at the back of the throat. For those who like their chocolate unadulterated, then you'll love the Pure Ben Tre, made from single origin cacao on the banks the Mekong river.