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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