The wait is almost over. Starting on January 19, Sublime Ruby Kit-Kat, Nestle’s ruby chocolate debut, will be available to the public in Japan and Korea.
It’s not just a fun-colored gimmick; ruby chocolate is an entirely new variety of chocolate, due to the chemical profile of the cocoa beans used (dubbed “ruby beans”) and a new, secretive chocolate-making process.
According to cocoa producer Barry Callebaut, the resulting chocolate has a natural reddish hue (or, as some have pointed out, shades of Millenial pink) and, “a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness.”
While ruby chocolate is only available in stores in Japan and Korea, residents of the United States, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, France, Italy, England, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland can order ruby chocolate online starting in early February — just in time for Valentine’s day.”
Some chocolate connoisseurs, however, are skeptical of the new product. After the initial announcement of ruby chocolate, blogger Sharon Terenzi investigated Barry Callebaut’s methods to see if the hype was warranted.
According to Terenzi, a renegade cohort of chocolate enthusiasts believes that Barry Callebaut created ruby chocolate by using unfermented cocoa beans. To a chocolatier, this is highly unorthodox. Cocoa beans are always fermented before they are used to make chocolate; in fact, it’s the fermentation process that gives chocolate its characteristic, chocolate-y taste. According to Clay Gordon of The Chocolate Life, ruby chocolate has, “no distinct cocoa/chocolate taste. Instead, the taste is bright and fruity, predominantly and distinctly fresh red berries.” Score one for the unfermented bean theory.
Despite it’s unfamiliar flavor, Gordon notes that it’s a “very snackable” candy, and he believes that, “the flavor and color will be highly appealing to many.”
So keep an open mind, and don’t be surprised if ruby chocolate doesn’t taste like chocolate.