May 23rd, 2011 by Rosa
Here’s another bar from the Dagoba line, the Xocolatl. It’s described as “rich dark chocolate, chilies, and nibs.”
It had a 74% base, perhaps the same chocolate that made up the New Moon? The chocolate had a dry and crunchy snap.
It was tough for me to get a flavor profile from this bar because the fiery heat from the chilies was overwhelmingly hot. It wasn’t a slow, pleasant burn. Instead, it was the intense, immediate heat of cayenne pepper.
The spiciness lingered in the finish and kept my tongue tingling. I usually love chili chocolate, but this had far too much chili burn that completely displaced the chocolate’s flavor. An O.
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, Hershey's, O, review |
May 20th, 2011 by Rosa
I received a couple of Dagoba chocolate squares in my American Chocolate Week Chocolate Gift Pack: Milk and New Moon.
I’d reviewed the Milk before, but that was years ago, and it was nice to take another gander at it with a much darker Dagoba bar for contrast.
The Milk was 37% cacao. The coloring was dark for a milk bar (left in the photo below). It had a snappy break and a smooth but not thick melt.
It had a nice complexity – woodsy and dark with burnt caramel notes. I found it quite enjoyable, so an OM.
The New Moon was labeled as “rich dark chocolate” and had 74% cacao (right in the photo above). Its melt was on the grainy side.
The chocolate had a burnt tasting edge with extremely fruity notes of cherry. There was a slight bitterness that persisted in the finish that I didn’t appreciate. An O.
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, Hershey's, review |
August 24th, 2009 by Rosa
It was bound to happen. I bought and wrote a review for a candy that I’ve already written about: the Dagoba Super Fruit bar. But I’m publishing it anyway, as it’s far more thorough than my first review of it.
In my defense, the bar’s wrapper has changed, so I um… didn’t recognize it?
The chocolate smells dry and dusky, and it tastes that way too. The melt is dry, and the texture is just shy of chalky. It makes me think of cocoa powder, in a good way.
The bar itself is a 74%, with bits of acai, currants, and goji berries. Every once in a while, you come across a bit of dried fruit, which delivers a powerful hit of sweet red berries.
I came across a currant, which was chewy, and some other slightly crunchy dried fruit that was either the acai or the goji.
I wish there were more fruit bits. They were too few and far between, and I didn’t want to eat the whole bar to get a good feel for it. Still, it was good, and my original OM rating stands. But Dagoba, stop being so stingy with your super fruits!
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, Hershey's, OM, organic, review |
November 7th, 2008 by Rosa
Dagoba was my introduction to upscale chocolate. It was a big part of my first chocolate tasting party, when I first really tasted chocolate, which is why I have reviewed as many Dagoba bars as I have. That and they’re sold at the campus convenience store, where I used to have $150 to spend there as part of my meal plan, back when I was on a meal plan. And they come in a ton of flavor varieties, so there are several types to review. Here are two more.
The Mon Cheri was a 72% dark chocolate with berries and vanilla. It was a smooth bar with a creamy melt, which is surprising for a 72%. I was also a little curious about the 72% part – if I remember correctly, most of Dagoba’s super dark bars are 74%. 72% would mean they have a second dark base?
The berries are tiny bits that stud the bar. Based on the color of the bits and the name of the bar, I’m going to guess that cherry was the predominant berry present. Chocolate and berry is a nice flavor combination, though the addition of fruit tends to overwhelm the natural notes of the chocolate. An OM.
The Super Fruit bar I disliked on principle. Just take a look at the wrapper, and see if you can guess why.
Any ideas? It’s a 74% dark bar with acai, goji berries, and currants. In other words, it jumps on every hype train! All it’s missing is pomegranate seeds and giant boasts about antioxidants splashed across its wrapper. For the record, I don’t buy into the “dark chocolate is better for you because it has more antioxidants” hype. You’d need to eat a ton of it to get any real effect, and eating a ton of any kind of chocolate is bad for you.
All the hype aside, this bar isn’t bad. It tastes a lot like the Mon Cheri – like dried fruit plus good quality chocolate. I thought I noticed a slight saltiness around the dried fruit bits, but it was so faint that I couldn’t be sure. Another OM.
Basically, Dagoba makes good, solid bars. I don’t give them Os because they’re so much better than your standard Hershey’s bars (even though Hershey’s owns Dagoba), but they also don’t stand out enough to warrant higher ratings. The way I see it, they’re great to taste your way through, but I’ve yet to find one that I’ve become attached to enough to buy a second time.
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, OM, organic, review |
4 Comments »
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 |
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 |
December 14th, 2007 by Rosa
Today marks the finale of Dagoba Chocolate (BUY!) Week, and I’ve saved the most interesting for last!
The Dagoba Chai is 37% milk chocolate, crystallized ginger, and spices. That last “spices” bit is annoyingly generic, and the ingredients list isn’t much help. There “spices” is replaced with “essential oils.”
When I ate this bar, I couldn’t figure out what the spices were because the ginger taste was incredibly strong. It overpowered everything. I like the essence of ginger in cooking, but I can’t stand ginger itself, probably because as a kid I accidentally ate too many slices of ginger out of our family stir fries (always an unexpected and unpleasant taste sensation).
Still, there was something about this bar that was intriguing, and it kept me reaching for more pieces. I never actually enjoyed it, however, so it only gets an O. At the chocolate party, this came in 12th (out of 13) with a score of 2.57/5. It was interestingly polarizing. Lots of 1s and 2s, but also a raving 5 and a few 4s. Comments ranged from “wtf funny flavor,” to “niceish – strange” to “can’t really describe it.” A few called it medicinal, which is understandable (anyone else forced to drink ginger root tea as a kid?).
The roseberry was the one I was most excited to taste. A dark bar (59% cacao) with raspberries and rosehips – sounds delicious! And it was pretty good. I loved how pretty the bar was. The pink bits of raspberry looked gorgeous against the dark, glossy bar.
I didn’t taste any rose notes when I sampled this bar, but the floral scent is definitely there. The raspberries add a gentle fruitiness that I wish was a little more noticeable. They also added a slight grit to the bar that I could have done without. An OM from me, and a tie for 5th with 3.533/5 from my friends.
Overall, I really enjoyed these Dagoba bars, even if none got a review above an OM. I think their ratings may have been skewed a little low because I tasted them with a bunch of other bars, some of which were less subtle and more interesting. The dark 59%, the hazelnut, and the roseberry were all on the brink of earning that extra G, but I pulled back because Dagoba bars are so pricey. The ones I bought cost $3.29 at the overpriced campus convenience store, but even online they’re $3.00 a bar.
I liked the Dagoba chocolate bars enough to want to eat my way through all the different varieties, though that would quickly get expensive. Dagoba will definitely make another appearance at my next chocolate party.
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, Hershey's, O, OM, organic, review |
1 Comment »
December 12th, 2007 by Rosa
Dagoba Chocolate (BUY!) Week continues with the milk and hazelnut bars!
The milk bar is pretty straightforward. Milk chocolate, 37% cacao solids. According to Wikipedia, anything over 35% cacao can be called dark chocolate, so I appreciate that Dagoba still called this milk.
It’s a European/Cadbury-style milk chocolate with a yogurty finish (as opposed to the sour finish Hershey’s milk chocolate has). “Feels British,” wrote one of my friends. Others felt that the milkiness was too overpowering.
Like all Dagoba bars, the texture is smooth and creamy and wonderful. It’s good but unremarkable and a little too sweet (I’m a dark chocolate lover). An O for the Dagoba milk. A wonderful milk chocolate bar that suffered from my dark-bias. If you like milk chocolate, European-style, you’ll love this. It took 8th place with a 3.33/5.
The hazelnut bar was made from 37% cacao milk chocolate, roasted hazelnuts, and rice crisps.
Really, it’s hard to go wrong with hazelnut and chocolate, This bar was well studded with pieces of hazelnut, and it was wonderfully – you guessed it – hazelnutty. I found it a little too sweet, but most chocolate/hazelnut candies skew towards the sweet side, so it’s understandable.
I didn’t notice any rice crisps, and because it was a blind tasting, I didn’t know to taste carefully and seek the crisps out. Cybele’s review complained of too few crisps, so I’m going to agree with her. I give this bar an OM. Good, but uninspiring. This came in first at my chocolate party with a score of 3.96/5. I think it was so well liked because of the near universal appeal of chocolate and hazelnut.
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, Hershey's, nuts, O, OM, organic, review |
2 Comments »
December 10th, 2007 by Rosa
Welcome to Dagoba Week! This week’s 6 Dagoba bars were blindly tasted by 14 of my friends (and me!) at my chocolate party along with 7 other non-Dagoba chocolate bars. I had my friends rate every chocolate that they tasted on a scale of 1-5.
The New Yorker ran an excellent piece on Dagoba Chocolate in their Halloween issue this year. I read the fascinating article after tasting my way through the half a dozen Dagoba bars (BUY!) (they offer 18 classic bars plus 3 single origin bars on their website; I have a lot more tasting left to do!), and it only made the company more impressive in hindsight. Even if Hershey’s does now own it.
The Dagoba dark 59% is a dark bar with 59% percent cacao (duh). The ingredients list is pretty incredible: Organic Dark Chocolate (organic cacao beans, organic evaporated cane juice, organic cacao butter, 0.5% non-GMO soy lecithin). Impressive, no?
The bar had a strong snap and a beautifully dark gloss. The melt and mouthfeel were incredible – soooo creamy and smooth – and it had a great finish. I thought the mild sweetness was perfect, though one of my friends, an admitted dark chocolate hater, found it too bitter. Others loved it. A couple found rum or alcohol notes, which surprised me, as I didn’t notice any.
I give it an OM. It’s delicious and the best plain dark chocolate bar I’ve yet to taste, but there’s no gimmick to the bar to make it special enough to really stand out. Still, it is now my go-to dark bar for slow savoring, provided that I have a little extra to spend (Dagoba bars are expensive!). The Dark 59% tied for 5th at the chocolate party with a 3.533 out of 5.
The Dagoba Lime bar is dark chocolate (59% cacao), lime, and macadamia nuts. The chocolate is smooth and creamy, which is unsurprising. I expect it’s the same chocolate base as the dark 59% bar.
I broke up the bars into small pieces for tasting. The piece I got must have not had any macadamia nut pieces in it because I have no macadamia nut related notes on this bar. I can’t imagine they would have made a huge taste difference, and macadamia nuts are pretty bland, though buttery. The lime component of this bar is subtle but definitely present. Overall, the bar was good, but I personally didn’t care for the limey finish. Another OM from me. This placed 10th in my friends’ ratings with a score of 3.133/5.
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, Hershey's, nuts, OM, organic, review |
November 6th, 2007 by Rosa
Chocolate party, that is. I’ve been stockpiling nice chocolate bars and haven’t gotten around to eating them yet. Now I have too much chocolate to possibly eat on my own (my life is so hard, I know), so I’m going to throw a chocolate tasting party. Yum!
The featured guests:
Category: chocolate, Dagoba, fair trade, news, organic, received as gift, Theo |
2 Comments »