Notes on chocolate: London’s first bean-to-bar will put SE16 on the map
Despite my heritage (Italian), I was born and largely raised in central London, not far from my spiritual home of Oxford Street – back in the days when normal people could afford to live in London. I knew Selfridges and John Lewis like the back of my hand: my Holy Communion dress was made in Selfridges (my aunt Dina worked in the alterations department there). I love London, even though I abandoned her some years ago to go and live in Suffolk.
So I was very excited to hear about Lucocoa, London’s first bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in SE16 where – is this too much information? – I lost my virginity on the 14th floor of a tower block.
Let me first tell you about the packaging, which is perfect. Everything you need to know is here: cocoa content, provenance, tasting notes. The bars come in cardboard, tick, are easy to open, tick, the inner sanctum is foil not plastic-wrapped, tick. You get that this is all about sustainability and thoughtfulness. I bought the sampler box: all six bars in 25g sizes, £13.50. The sugar used is unrefined coconut sugar and the chocolate also contains – a first for me – lucuma, a Peruvian fruit said to be high in nutrients.
All the bars were plain (no inclusions), but super tasty. The box I got is ideal for sitting and comparing the different origins and taste how they differ. I liked the Dominican 50% dark milk, but the 60-70%ers – from Haiti, Belize (my fave), Guatemala and Dominican Republic – are where it all happens. There’s also an actual chocolate brick, £12.50.