November 7th, 2011 by Rosa
I saw this Lindt Excellence Black Currant bar at Cost Plus World Market and couldn’t resist picking it up, both because black currant is an unusual flavor to find in the U.S. and because I’d never seen it before, so I thought it was a new product.
Apparently, I’m a little behind the times, as Sera and Debby have both reviewed this before.
The Lindt Black Currant bar smelled like grape jam. The chocolate was thin and layered with flat slivered almonds that added a sharp crunch and just a hint of nuttiness.
I’m not sure how necessary those almonds were. I don’t feel like their flavor elevated the bar, and their textural addition disrupted the melt.
The chocolate had a bright fruitiness that really popped. It reminded me of a dark berry jam, some mix of blackberry or blueberry, perhaps.
The fruitiness was so powerful that it obscured much of the flavors of the chocolate. There was some cocoa flavor in the finish, at least.
I enjoyed the joyful flavor of the chocolate, but it wasn’t good enough to make me reach for more. I think I took issue with the almonds disturbing what could’ve been a lusciously smooth melt. An O.
Category: chocolate, Lindt, news, nuts, O |
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February 7th, 2011 by Rosa
I’m usually not a fan of white chocolate. But Walgreen’s had Lindt on sale, and I couldn’t resist picking up this bar of White Coconut, as I’d never tried it before.
It was a white chocolate bar “with delicate coconut flakes”. I don’t universally hate white chocolate – Trader Joe’s white chocolate chips are great – but I found Lindt’s white chocolate, with its bland dairy sweetness, to be totally uninspiring.
The shredded flakes of coconut were dry and crackly and added a light nuttiness. They tasted artificial but in a muted way. Nothing like coconut-scented sunscreen but still rather fake tasting.
All in all, I found this inoffensive but unexciting. It could have used more vanilla flavors, more toastiness to the coconut – more something! An O.
Category: coconut, Lindt, O, review, white chocolate |
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April 9th, 2010 by Rosa
I bought a trio of booze-filled Lindt bars two summers ago in Cambridge, England. Whisky is pictured below; the other two were Irish Coffee and Cointreau. While I tasted the chocolates soon after I bought them, it took me until now to get around to writing about them.
Why the wait? Because every single one of the three bars that I had just shelled out quite a bit of dough for turned out to be all dried up when I opened them! I sent Lindt an email to complain, and while I waited for the response that never came, I forgot about them.
When I opened them, the chocolates appeared to be pristine. They looked like a pill-pack of chocolate, and each Lindt-stamped capsule looked unblemished and, I imagined, full of the promised “liquid filling.”
This was the summer of 2008, and the bars were marked as being good until April and May 2009. But when I chomped into the capsules, the insides were all dried up and crystallized. Boo.
I’m not sure if they were supposed to be like that, or if the posh (and pricey!) shop that I bought them from stored them incorrectly, or if Lindt was overly optimistic with their sell-by dates, but I was sorely disappointed. They promised liquid fillings. Of booze!
Maybe now’s a good time to add the aside that I was 20 this summer and earnestly learning about the cultural differences between the U.S. and the U.K. No open container laws; cheap and plentiful beers, ales, and ciders; and I never once got carded.
Anyway, the decidedly non-liquid fillings had lost their flavor along with their moisture. Cointreau was maybe tinged with orange, and Whisky had a nearly imperceptible alcoholic finish, but they otherwise just tasted like milk chocolate that was maybe a tad sweeter than usual.
In the state that I got these, they deserve a –. And Lindt gets the same for their (lack of) customer service. As far as I know, they’re not available in the U.S., but they seem to still be sold in the U.K., and with a few more flavors on offer.
Category: --, chocolate, European, Lindt, review |
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March 12th, 2010 by Rosa
Lindt‘s “A Touch of Sea Salt” bar has been on the market for a while: Chocablog covered it way back in August 2008, and Cybele wrote about it last October. I finally picked one up last week because it was on sale at good old Wegmans.
The package design is simple – a balanced Lindt square with a visible sprinkle of coarse salt and the curiously (carelessly?) capitalized note, “with Fleur de sel Sea salt crystals”. I love the blaze of blue in the background. A bit reminiscent of a PowerPoint slide, yes, but also pretty!
The chocolate itself looks like standard dark Lindt squares, with Lindt Excellence’s characteristic deep sheen and sharp snap. Unlike in the Salazon bars, there were no visible grains of salt. Unsurprisingly, the taste of salt was also far more mild in the Lindt bar.
The chocolate had a dark, thick, and glossy melt. It tasted deeply of cocoa but was sweeter than I remembered dark Lindt bars being. A glance at the back of the package showed that it had just a minimum of 47% cocoa solids, which put the relative sweetness in context.
The salt really was just a touch – a few grains here and there. When the fleur de sel did flash on my palate, it brought out a nice sweet and sourness to the chocolate (in a fruity way rather than a cheap Chinese takeout way).
I think this is a fine addition to the Lindt line and a great bar for everyday snacking. It wasn’t as complex as the Salazon line, but I found it quite admirable for a mass market bar. An OM.
Category: chocolate, Lindt, OM, review |
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September 30th, 2009 by Rosa
I bought this Lindt Croquant de Caramel bar in France. It’s “lait aux éclats de fin caramel”, or milk chocolate with caramel (toffee) bits/chips. I swear, French makes everything sound better.
Check out the description from the back of the box: “D’abord un plaisir pour les yeux avec sa belle teinte blonde ou l’on devine le caramel. Ensuite, vinet le plaisir de tous les sens: le fondant d’un chocolat au laut velouté marié au délicat croustillant des éclats de caramel blond.”
The bar smells lovely – sweet, dusky, thick, and caramel-y. The bar has a pleasant snap to it, surprising for a milk bar. It’s generously studded with crunchy toffee bits.
The milk chocolate (30% according to the back of the box) didn’t melt and coat the tongue like Lindt milk chocolate usually does. I wonder if it was a different formulation for this bar?
The toffee bits cleave cleanly under my teeth. They taste sweet and buttery, with honey highlights.
The milk chocolate and toffee is a bit sweeter than I tend to like my chocolate, but the combination does work well together. An OM.
Cybele from Candy Blog reviewed the U.S. version of this bar, called Lindt Toffee Crunch.
Category: chocolate, European, Lindt, OM, review, toffee |
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March 23rd, 2009 by Rosa
The long-awaited continuation of my chocolate tasting quick hits from last week:
Frey’s Noir Authentique was the third of the three Frey bars I bought on sale at Target (the other two being their Tiramisu and Hot Chili Pepper). It had a nice nuttiness but a slightly bitter aftertaste, and its creamy melt gave way to an astringent finish. Altogether not bad, but there are better dark bars out there that are more interesting. Just an O.
Ghirardelli‘s dark and raspberry is another one of their new products, a molded and filled bar. The paperboard wrapper promises “delectably delicious raspberry filling made with real fruit surrounded by intense dark chocolate.” It’s actually kind of terrible. The filling is a horrifically unnatural shade of pink…
and it tastes as bright and artificial as it looks. It’s overly sweet and cloying, with a fake raspberry flavor that completely covers the dark chocolate flavor of the shell. A –.
I always like to end my tastings with a 100% bar to show that percentage isn’t everything. This time, I ended on a 99%, figuring what’s 1% between friends? The Lindt 99% bar was impressively packaged and heat sealed inside a gold tray. Despite the care, my bar was still somewhat bloomed.
As expected, the high percentage made it dry and chalky and bitter. It was so astringent that it sucked the moisture right out of my mouth. Underneath all that, there was an earthiness to the flavor. Still, I’ll never see extreme percentage bars as more than a fun tasting adventure; they’re just too intense for snacking. A –.
Category: --, chocolate, Ghirardelli, Lindt, O, review |
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March 20th, 2009 by Rosa
I threw a chocolate tasting party ages ago and have been sitting on these tasting notes since then. Today, some quick hits for the last Friday (alas!) of my spring break. Part II will come Monday, when I’m back (boo!) in class.
Ghirardelli Duet, from their new line of Luxe Milk chocolates, pairs “creamy milk chocolate” with “rich dark chocolate”. It’s divided along it’s heighth axis so that it looks like a milk chocolate bar with a thin dark chocolate backing.
It had a woodsy smell with some tobacco notes to it. I found it surprisingly smoky. Its thick and creamy melt combined with its complex flavor earned it high praise at my party and from me. An OMG.
Lindt Madagascar is a single-origin 65% dark chocolate bar from their Excellence line. It has a cool melt with a fatty feel to it. The finish was quite enjoyably fruity. Another party favorite; another OMG.
The Cafe Tasse 77% was a holiday gift from my friend Steve. It’s a higher cacao percentage than the 60% noir bar I previously reviewed. It had a sharp snap and was unusually thick – in this case, a reference to its physical dimensions, not its melt – with an arid finish. An O.
More quick hits to come on Monday. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eke out one last weekend of fun in Albany as our men’s hockey team takes on the ECAC championship playoffs.
Category: chocolate, Ghirardelli, Lindt, O, OMG, received as gift, review, single origin |
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February 25th, 2009 by Rosa
I absolutely love Lindt’s Chili Chocolate bar, so when I saw their Cherry and Chili and their Hot Papaya (a papaya and chili) bar at the Lindt 5th Avenue store in NYC, I was super excited to try them.
The Cherry and Chili bar is part of their Creation line. It’s a 70% dark chocolate with chocolate mousse and cherry and chili fillings. The packaging makes it look super luxurious, as it should, for this is more expensive than most Lindt bars (around $5 each, I believe). The chocolate bar itself is also fancier looking than other Lindt bars. Instead of just bearing an etching of the word Lindt, the Creation bar is also stamped with a complex rendering of their medallion logo.
The cherry and chili filling comes in the form of an oozy, gooey, red-tinted gel. It initially tastes like sweet cherries before giving way to a spicy heat that makes your tongue tingle just a tad. The chocolate shell is Lindt’s usual quality chocolate – creamy with a dusky finish. I didn’t realize the bar was supposed to contain chocolate mousse until I saw it on the wrapper as I’m typing up this review. I guess it got swallowed up in the chocolate or something. I never noticed it when I was tasting it.
The Lindt Hot Papaya is basically identical to the Cherry and Chili, just with Papaya as the resident fruit goo. The packaging on this was a bit unusual, as it was a paper wrapper over the usual cardboard box. The writing on the outer wrapper was in English, while the cardboard was detailed in German (I believe; lots of umlauts), suggesting that the bar is imported rather than made in Lindt’s U.S. factories.
The fruit ooze in the Hot Papaya was a beautiful hue of translucent gold. Like the Cherry and Chili, it initially tasted of sweet fruit before the chili heat comes in, though I found the spiciness to be more prominent in this bar. I thought it tasted like pear, but, like most Americans, my pear experience far outweighs my papaya experience. The only time I’ve ever had fresh papaya was in the summer of 2007, when I was on tour in Brazil with the Yale Concert Band, so my memory of how papaya’s taste is shaky to non-existent, making me a poor judge of how true this is to papaya’s real flavors.
All in all, I really enjoyed these two bars. Their higher price makes them a splurge, and I’d still rather eat Lindt’s straight Chili chocolate bar, but the Cherry and Chili and the Hot Papaya are unique and tasty enough to merit an OMG.
Category: chocolate, Lindt, OMG, review |
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December 22nd, 2008 by Rosa
I’m a big proponent of Lindt as a great not-too-expensive-but-still-nice bar for a good chocolate fix. Their Excellence bars are, yes, excellent, and range in price from $3.50 (at the Lindt store on 5th Avenue in NYC) to $1.50 on sale once at Wal-greens (I totally took that opportunity to stock up on my beloved Lindt Chilli bars). Basically, when I want to snack on and savor chocolate but without taking the time to thoroughly and slowly taste it, I reach for Lindt.
I’m not a huge fan of the orange and chocolate combination. I know it works for Terry’s and for chocolate-covered orange peel and for lots of truffle-makers out there, but it’s just not one that especially appeals to me. The same goes for Lindt’s Orange Intense bar.
Had I read the packaging more carefully, I would’ve noticed that the bottom left corner claimed “fine dark chocolate with pieces of orange and almond slivers”. But I didn’t, so I was surprised to find thin bits of almond scattered throughout the bar. Pleasantly surprised, though, as the almond added a nice crunch with just a hint of almond nuttiness. It was just enough to make you take notice but not so much so that it overwhelmed the chocolate or orange.
The chocolate definitely smelled of orange, and the bar’s finish was all citrus as well. To me, it tasted more of orange oil than of an actual orange or of orange zest – a bit more artificial and a bit less zesty, to put it in other words.
Overall, it wasn’t a bad bar. The chocolate, like all Lindt Excellence bars, was wonderfully creamy, and the flavors were well balanced overall. But I’m just not an orange and chocolate fan, so an OM for this bar.
Category: chocolate, Lindt, nuts, OM, review |
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September 3rd, 2008 by Rosa
Chocolate and chili is a taste combination familiar to Latin America (think Mexican hot chocolate) that’s beginning to catch on in foodie circles here in the U.S. It’s a flavor combination that I love, and I even submitted it as my Dream Bean to Jelly Belly’s contest. If you live in New Haven, try something at Claire’s Corner Copia with their Mexican chocolate frosting (yes, I know their cream cheese is great, but the Mexican chocolate is much more exciting). Viva Chocolato had a delectably tingly chipotle gelato the first time I went there. I haven’t seen it again in my repeat visits, but they do rotate through their flavors, so you may get lucky.
I discovered Lindt‘s Chili Chocolate bar while in the UK, and when it went on sale in Sainsbury’s (1 pound a bar, or about $2), I stocked up and bought a couple to add to the half already in my stash. Yes, that counts as stocking up for me. When you consider how much candy I keep around, it’s rare that I buy seconds of something, and even more rare that I buy two seconds.
Super hoity toity chocolate connossieurs sometimes look down on Lindt the way that I look down on Hershey’s milk chocolate. I think they find it too mass produced and commercial to be worth eating. While I agree that fine artisinal chocolate can be better tasting and more nuanced, I still find Lindt to be a great fine chocolate at an affordable price.
Lindt’s chili bar (I guess it’s chilli in British English?) is set in their Excellence dark chocolate, which I’m pretty sure is a 70%. The chocolate is lusciously dark and glossy with pretty little etchings for decoration. At first taste, all you get is cocoa. But after a few chews, as the chocolate creamily melts over your tongue, just the slightest hint of chili heat comes through. It starts slowly, then builds to a noticeable but not unpleasant tingle. I love it. A ZOMG! from me, with the caveat that I’m biased by my adoration of chili chocolate.
Category: chocolate, Lindt, review, ZOMG! |
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