Just as my many travels to the Caribbean net my wife some wonderfully West Indian beer and coffee treats, so too do my kids benefit with souvenir sweets.
(The wife also gets jewelry, art, and fashion finds from time to time, the better to keep me in her good graces so that I can travel in the first place, but we’re focusing on consumables today.)
Tops among the sweets I’ve brought home for my kids in recent years – Chocolat Elot from Martinique.
Yes, even with their Trini roots, they prefer Elot over the absolutely decadent gourmet chocolate bars produced by our friends at The Tobago Cocoa Estate.
Now, before you start thinking their young, untested taste buds incapable of appreciating the exquisite finery of the top shelf Tobago bars, let me share a bit about Chocolat Elot.
Originally founded in 1911, Elot is said to have been inspired from on high, its launch tied in local lore to the 1910 passing of Haley’s Comet. Notice the comet on the packaging? They’re serious about that thing!
I can’t validate any cocoa close encounters, of course, but I can vouch for the out of this world flavor packed into each of these 100-gram bars.
Chocolat Elot uses all-natural locally-sourced ingredients, combining cocoa, vanilla, and sublime Martinican cane sugar to sweetly smile-inducing effect. There’s a slight bit of grain in the texture, giving Elot bars an almost wafer-like consistency. It’s not to the degree of a Crunch bar, but it’s there and it’s nice.
Even nicer: the flavor. If you like your chocolates bitter, then Elot is not for you. The 42% cocoa is balanced nicely with the vanilla, which stands out in a manner that surprises as much as it satisfies. Overall, Elot is sweet, yet distinctively intense and refined beyond its price tag, which is well below that of the exclusive Tobago Cocoa Estate bars.
Still, not all is apples and oranges when comparing these choco treats. In fact, at their core – the cocoa – they’re actually a little alike.
Indeed, some of the cocoa used to make Elot actually comes from Trinidad! Not from The Tobago Cocoa Estate, but close enough to call these sweet treats distant (and very sweet) cousins.
Chocolat Elot is available all over Martinique. If you love chocolate, definitely don’t leave The Isle of Flowers without trying some… and taking a few bars home.