Archive for July, 2014

Alcove Chocolates – Fleur de Pretzel

July 25th, 2014 by Rosa

On Monday, I covered 3 flavors of Alcove Chocolates that I had received as free samples. Today, it’s time to write about another Alcove treat, their Fleur de Pretzel bar.

They described it as “rich milk chocolate paired with crunchy new york [sic. They seem to be allergic to the shift key on their website.] pretzels and enrobed in swirls of fleur de sel sea salt.” I didn’t know that crunchy New York pretzels were a thing – I always thought they were soft – but whatever. This bar was awesome.

Unlike the tiles from Monday, I am reviewing the full-sized, 3 oz. version of this beauty. It was segmented into 4 x 5 rectangles and broke easily along the divisions.

The milk chocolate base of this bar was sweet and dusky, with a nice complexity to it. Its matte melty texture was frequently interrupted by crunchy bits of pretzel and sea salt.

The pretzel nicely balanced out the sweet milk chocolate by adding a darker toastiness that kept it from being cloying. The occasional flashes of salt also helped offset that sweetness while adding flavor and texture interest.

I thought this bar was an excellent bar for snacking. After all, it included a snack food right in the bar. I found it it interesting, well-balanced, and tasty. An OMG.

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Edible blown glass made of sugar

July 24th, 2014 by Rosa

Aureole is a restaurant that I will likely never be able to afford to eat at. Thanks to Serious Eats, however, I can vicariously visit through this behind the scenes photo slideshow. It documents how Aureole uses glass-blowing techniques to make little sugar globes to decorate their desserts.

Photo from flickr user roboppy (aka Robyn Lee)

It’s amazing. And why Aureole is so expensive. Think of the labor costs!

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Child labor and chocolate bars

July 23rd, 2014 by Rosa

Via Knile, here’s a sobering piece from Vice on how cocoa farms in Côte D’Ivoire have a child labor problem. I am very curious as to which chocolate makers are buying the conflicted cocoa. Anyone know?

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Foosball + gumball table

July 22nd, 2014 by Rosa

Via the internets, I have learned that there’s a foosball table that uses gumballs as balls, so that everyone wins! Awesome, if only gumballs tasted better.

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Alcove Chocolate – Fleur de sel, Red Velvet, and Mimosa

July 21st, 2014 by Rosa

Alcove Chocolate, a So-Cal chocolate brand that has now expanded beyond California, recently released 12 (12!) new chocolate bars. I got sent free samples of the full-sized bars, plus 3 of the flavors in miniature square version (they call them mini tiles), for review. I’ll start with the mini tiles, Fleur de Sel, Red Velvet, and Mimosa.

Fleur de sel dark chocolate was a “64% cacao complimented with natural sea salt.” The thin 1.5 x 1.5-inch square had a sharp snap. It started off slightly sweet, then took on a salty smokiness from the added sea salt. The melt was smooth and only broken up by the crunch of the salt crystals.

Red Velvet milk chocolate was described as “velvety, smooth red milk chocolate layered with flavors of cheesecake frosting and chocolate cake.” It had the same red-brown tinge of a red-velvet cupcake (which, at least in cupcakes, probably comes from food coloring).

The Red Velvet square had a soft break and a thick and creamy melt, as milk chocolates should. It was quite sweet, with cocoa powder notes to start, then took on a slight sour tang. I thought it did an excellent job of capturing the flavor of red velvet cake + cream cheese frosting.

Finally, Mimosa dark chocolate was loquaciously billed as, “the ultimate ‘choctail’… 64% dark chocolate with essences of fresh orange juice and sparkling champagne.” Its melt was creamy but slower to start.

Mimosa tasted sweet for a dark chocolate, with strong citrus flavors from the start. The citrus notes were those of orange oil rather than orange zest – mellow and rotund rather than sharp and zesty.

So far, a tasty assortment of chocolate bars that do a great job capturing exactly what they promise. I can’t wait to try the rest! An OM.

 

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Lindt’s chocolate hegemony grows

July 15th, 2014 by Rosa

Via Emma, news that Lindt, which already owns Ghirardelli, is buying up Russell Stover as well. Lindt predicts that this acquisition will help them reach sales of $1.5 billion in North America next year. That’s a lot of chocolate!

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Lindt Lemon

July 9th, 2014 by Rosa

Lindt Lemon is the newest chocolate bar in Lindt’s Excellence line-up, billed as “dark with citrus pieces and almond slivers”. I received a free sample from Lindt for review.

Alas, the overnight shipping, cold pack, and insulated bag couldn’t stand up to the North Carolina heat, so my sample arrived melted and not as photogenic as it could be. Fortunately, it still tasted awesome!

The dark chocolate had a thick, matte melt that was broken up with a slight crunch from the thin almond slivers. I also came across the occasional piece of lemon zest covered in a grainy sugar.

At first, the bar was sweet. Then, a bright, effervescent lemon zestiness came through, tempered by nuttiness from the almond slivers. It finished with a cool, citrus sweetness.

This bar was incredibly well balanced in both flavor and texture. I loved how the bright fruitiness played off the dark chocolate, resulting in a refreshing treat. An OM.

 

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More cute candy from Japan

July 8th, 2014 by Rosa

Via Kotaku, with a hat-tip to my friend Steve, check out the amazing candy wizards at Amezaiku Yoshihara that make incredible candy art.

 

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Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons

July 7th, 2014 by Rosa

These British Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons were a surprise international treat in the free sample MunchPak that I received a while ago and am still slowly munching my way through.

The buttons were little thumbnail-sized disks with a flat side and a domed side. Their flat side had the scripted Cadbury logo imprinted on it.

They were the perfect size and shape to slip onto my tongue and smash against the roof of my mouth. Doing so caused the buttons to dissolve into a tongue-coatingly thick and creamy puddle of milk chocolate.

The Cadbury’s milk chocolate was quite sweet, with dusky caramel flavors amidst the cocoa. As far as mass-produced milk chocolate goes, I much prefer Cadbury’s to the sour milk tinge of Hershey’s.

The buttons were a fun diversion that were well-sized for slow savoring. An O because I probably wouldn’t buy them for a snack – there are better milk chocolates out there, especially if you’re willing to spend an extra buck or two – but I wouldn’t turn them down if they were offered to me for free.

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Chocolate quadcopter

July 3rd, 2014 by Rosa

Via Slate, someone built a working quadcopter (like a helicopter, but with 4 prongs where rotors go) with a base made of chocolate. Because… why not? You can eat it if it crash lands!

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