Two more Choxie bars

As I’ve noted before, Choxie, Target’s house brand of chocolate, works hard to market itself. I adore their bright, retro wrappers, and I hate that they don’t capitalize anything. Check out the descriptions of these two bars that were a holiday gift from my suitemate Alisha:

Choxie milk chocolate roasted almond sea salt bar

solid milk chocolate. the perfect foil for whole roasted Mission almonds and a pinch of grey sea salt crystals. simply spectacular.

Doesn’t that sound delicious? They’re not just almonds; they’re Mission almonds. And it’s not just sea salt; it’s grey sea salt crystals.

The milk chocolate bar smelled sweet and looked nice and shiny. It had a great snap to it. The whole almonds tasted like they were actually roasted (ooh!) and were nicely distributed throughout. The sea salt was a nice sophisticated touch, but for me, it also brought out the sour finish of the chocolate with its salty hit. Not bad but could be better. An OM.

Choxie 62% Ghana cacao single origin chocolate bar

with an intense and earthy flavor that only could come from Ghana, this solid bar of deep dark chocolate is warmly accented with golden Madagascar vanilla.

There go those great adjectives (and adverbs) again. warmly accented with golden Madagascar vanilla. This bar is a nice example of Choxie jumping on the single origin marketing train without really appreciating the point of single origin (making chocolate with a superior crop of bean that deserves to stand alone). And the packaging for this one was on the bland side.

Visually, the bar is absolutely gorgeous, a great deep brown with a lovely sheen to it. And it’s very snappy, party due to the fact that Choxie bars are thicker than most. The melt to this was smooth but not creamy. Flavor-wise, it tasted quite sweet with a slight berry finish. I’d say it would be okay for mindless chomping or cooking, but by billing itself as single origin, it sets itself up for failure. I expected some great flavor nuance and got nothin’. An O on this one.

Edit: I wrote this review about a week before Cybele posted her take on all four of Choxie’s 3oz bars, these two included.

Calhoun College Chocolate Tasting Notes, Round II

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.