October 22nd, 2012 by Neil
As I try to recover from a week in New Orleans, ex-pat friend Knile has a couple of guest posts on deck. ~Rosa
I don’t remember where I picked up this Chocolove bar. It could have been downtown here or on my Swiss trip. Either way, I clearly didn’t read the label closely to find out that it’s made in one of the Fifty Nifty United States. Rosa’s reviewed other Chocolove products before, but not this one, so at least it’s somewhat novel that way.
The bar looked a bit dusty and dried up when I opened it, which detracted from its otherwise curvaceous and heart-icon-covered appearance. Each piece broke off cleanly; only a few flakes fell on my coffee table.
The chocolate itself was fairly unremarkable, with a thin flavor. I wanted it to be creamier. The bits of raspberry provided a very welcome crunchiness, though their fruitiness took a while to build up, not at all the “tart… burst of flavor” the package promised.
Not a huge winner for me in the end, but maybe my expectations were set too high. This gets an O.
Category: chocolate, Chocolove, guest post, O, review |
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July 15th, 2011 by Rosa
I recently attended the wedding of my boyfriend’s cousin. The wedding was held in Colorado, and the bride and groom chose to give their guests gift baskets with locally made treats and favors, including bars of Chocolove chocolate. That’s my kind of wedding!
The back of the Toffee & Almonds in Milk Chocolate bar described its contents as “Chunks of almond toffee in smooth milk chocolate. Creamy milk chocolate releases chunks of buttery sweet toffee and dry roasted almonds.”
Thanks to summer in my non-air conditioned house, the 33% milk chocolate that was the base of this bar was very soft, almost like putty. It melted in my fingers.
The melt of the chocolate was lovely – thick and tongue-coatingly luxurious. It tasted of caramel and sugar.
The tiny bits of toffee distributed throughout the bar were the best part. They were dry and crunchy with a great scorchiness. The almond bits were visually indistinguishable from the toffee, but I was able to detect the light nutty flavor that they added.
My only complaint about this bar was that it was too sweet in the finish, with a cloy that burned the throat. Otherwise, I loved the mix of crunchy and thick, sweet and burnt and nutty. An OM.
Category: chocolate, Chocolove, nuts, OM, review, toffee |
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March 22nd, 2010 by Rosa
I bought this Chocolove Holiday bar on sale in January. Thus I think that it’s safe to assume that “holiday” is PC for Christmas. It’s described on the back as follows: “Sweet currants, tart cherries, zesty orange and spicy ginger compliment a mix of crunchy pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts enrobed in dark chocolate… This classic combination is inspired by a popular holiday chocolate in France known as mendiant.”
The chocolate itself was very mild. At 55%, it was nicely shiny and snappy and had a smooth texture and taste. It wasn’t very distinctive, but it served as a great foil for the bar’s mix-ins.
The pecans and walnut bits add a light nuttiness and textural contrast. The hazelnuts are wonderful – the best nuts of the bunch. Their distinctive nuttiness floats above the chocolate flavors.
The currants and cherries were also great – little chewy bits of sweet and tartness that brightened the bar. I think I only got a few errant pieces of ginger, and I only think I did because they were quite candied and had lost their ginger flavor.
The orange zest was my favorite add-in. It was bright and tart and citrusy and paired amazingly with the chocolate.
The fruits and nuts really made this bar. I wish the chocolate had a bit more depth and complexity instead of taking a backseat to all the additions, but it still made for a tasty combination that kept me popping more squares. An OM.
Category: chocolate, Chocolove, Christmas, limited edition, nuts, OM, review |
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May 1st, 2008 by Rosa
After the success of my first chocolate tasting (notes here), I held a second one with the extra bars. Unfortunately, by the time the second tasting rolled around, most of the bars had bloomed thanks to New Haven humidity and temperature fluctuations and a lack of air conditioning. The Vosges chocolate bars were the only ones that survived because their wrappers are airtight. We tasted them anyway, and all the flavors were there; it’s just that the textures were all wrong. Sadness. Here’s what we tasted, with my notes:
- Green and Black’s milk, 34% – sweet, yogurty flavor; tastes like a Cadbury mini-egg. Thick texture.
- Dagoba milk, 37% – slightly fruitier than the Green and Black’s with a dusky finish.
- Vosges Macha (Japanese macha green tea in 41% deep milk) – woodsy dirt flavor, brittle texture. Tastes like green tea, as it should. I don’t like the taste of green tea, but if you do, this bar is true to its name.
- Vosges Woolloomooloo (roasted and salted macadamia nuts, Indonesian coconut, hemp seeds in 41% deep chocolate) – I’ve reviewed the truffle version of this bar. Nicely nutty, smells of coconut.
- Vosges Goji (Tibetan goji berries, pink Himalayan salt in 41% deep milk) – fruitiness to the bar; goji berries just taste like red berries. Saltiness works, I think.
- Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar (applewood smoked bacon, alderwood smoked salt in 41% deep milk chocolate) – I bought another one of these bars because it’s such a great conversation piece for tastings.
- Chocolove dark chocolate, 55% – nuttiness to the flavor, which starts off sweet and has a long finish. Vanilla notes? Thick texture.
- Nirvana Single Origin Granada, 60% – fairly straightforward cocoa flavor with a strong roasted taste.
- Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet – fruity notes, sweet finish
- Vosges Calindia (Indian green cardamom, organic California walnuts, dried plums in 65% Venezualan dark chocolate) – strong spice flavor. Can taste the sweetness of the plums and feel where it adds texture.
- Nirvana Single Origin Santa Domingo, 67% – strong earthiness, dirt flavor. Not at all well received (the wrapper promised herbal tones, which must have been the dirt flavor people complained about).
- Green and Black’s Maya Gold (orange and spices) – on first taste, strong notes of pepper with a light orange finish. On second taste, orange flavor stronger. Many people said the bar tasted like marmalade.
- Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet – super fruity with a cocoa finish
- Dagoba Conacado, 73% – nutty
- Dagoba New Moon, 74% – sweeter than the Conacado with a dark fruitiness
- Dagoba Xocolatl, 74% with chilies and nibs – slight fruitiness to the chocolate. STRONG chili flavor that wallops your taste buds on first impact. Not the way I like my chili chocolate.
- Endangered Species 88% Extreme Dark (panther) – vanilla scent with a nice smoky flavor.
- Ghirardelli 100% baking chocolate – completely dries up the mouth. Worse than the 100% La Maison du Chocolat bar.
Category: chocolate, Chocolove, Dagoba, Endangered Species, Ghirardelli, Green & Black's, news, Scharrfen Berger, single origin, Vosges |
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March 18th, 2008 by Rosa
My tasting notes, as promised. I loved how I was able to notice the subtle differences between the bars by tasting them all together. For example, when I first tasted the Scharffen Berger Extra Rich Milk, I thought it was sweet and yogurty. Tasting it right after the Chocolove Milk and the Papua single origin bar, the Scharffen Berger bar suddenly took on smoky qualities.
- Chocolove Milk Chocolate (33%) – thick and creamy, coats the tongue heavily; vanilla and caramel notes
- Nirvana Belgian Chocolates’ Papua single origin (35%) – dull and greasy looking, coffee smell, vanilla and yogurt flavor
- Scharffen Berger Extra Rich Milk (41%) – dusky, smoky flavor, soft snap with a thick and heavy melt, lingering finish
- Endangered Species Smooth Milk (52%) – earthy, pepper flavor
- Vosges Naga Bar (41%) – a bit grainy with a great snap, coconut flavor
- Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar (41%) – smells smoky, bacon bits give it a large grain, super salty bar
- Vosges Red Fire or Oaxaca Bars (55%) – starts off sweet but the chili burn and the heat builds, a finish that lingers in the back of the throat
- Chocolove Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate (65%) – sweet, sugar flavor, light ginger and citrusy notes
- Chocolove Strong Dark (70%) – earthy aroma, greasy texture
- Lake Champlain Single Origin Sao Thome (70%) – sweet and fruity notes
- Vosges Creole Bar (70%) – sweet start, coffee finish that lingers, a creamy melt around the coffee bean and nib bits
- Scharffen Berger Antilles (75%) – my favorite of the bunch – a sharp snap on a glossy, dark bar, creamy melt, lingering finish
- Lake Champlain Single Origin Tanzania (75%) – banana notes, thinner melt, unpleasant finish that’s buttery and lingering
- Scharffen Berger Extra Dark (82%) – bitter tobacco notes with a slightly sweet finish
- La Maison Du Chocolat Coro (100%) – bitter start, dries out the mouth
- Valrhona Gianduja Noisette (no %, but super, super light milk) -super soft, almost like fudge at room temperature, quite soft, creamy, heavy, and thick with strong hazelnut flavors
Category: chocolate, Chocolove, Dagoba, Endangered Species, Lake Champlain, Scharrfen Berger, Vosges |
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