Dorval Crispy Thins – Hazelnut and Orange

I got to have a nice chat with the folks at Dorval at their booth at Sweets and Snacks. Even though my swag bag already had a box of their orange chocolate thins, they gave me a second box of hazelnut thins at their booth.

The chocolates came in a gold tray with three wells that each contained 6 of the flat, oval thins, and the whole thing was sealed in a clear cellophane bag for freshness. I was impressed at how well the packaging protected the thins – not a single one broke, despite being banged around in my carry-on luggage all the way from Chicago to Durham.

The thins certainly lived up to their name. Each was about 2 inches across at their longer diameter and probably no more than about a quarter centimeter thick at their thickest point.

The chocolate ovals were liberally dotted with little rice crisps that brought a wheaty, toasty crunch. They had a sort of stale texture, so more like puffed rice.

The orange thins reminded me of Terry’s chocolate oranges, with a creamy orange oil flavor. I found it a little artificial and on the edge of cloying, but the low chocolate to crisp ratio helped keep that in check.

The hazelnut crisps were more to my liking. There the chocolate was creamy with mocha notes to the finish and a nice nuttiness that complimented the chocolate in an understated way.

As far as I could tell, the hazelnut was a flavor addition to the chocolate. I didn’t notice the texture of any actual bits of nuts.

I especially liked the natural portion control of these – it feels like a large amount of chocolate on the tongue but is so thin that it isn’t too much. An O for the orange and an OM for the hazelnut.

Dorval Sour Power Straws – Pink Lemonade

These Dorval Sour Power Straws were a free sample of a new flavor: Pink Lemonade. The rest of their line-up includes blue raspberry, watermelon, strawberry, and green apple, which I’d tried before under their Sortz name.

I really enjoyed these Pink Lemonade straws. They didn’t have any of the stiff plastic taste or over-wheaty flavor that put me off the Sortz and that you get in Sour Punch Straws.

Instead, they were soft and pliable tubes, about 6-7 inches long, with an easy chew. They were much softer, and thus much more texturally pleasant, than Twizzlers. Also unlike Twizzlers, they didn’t get stuck in the cracks of my teeth.

The sour sugar sand on the surface of the straws was mostly sweet with a little tartness. The pink lemonade flavor of the actual straws was sweet with a light, mild citrus note.

There was no lemon zestiness, but a definite lemonade/lemon drop flavor persisted throughout the chew. The sour came through in the middle when the sour sand started melting on my tongue, and the final finish was just the sweet fruitiness of the straw.

I thought these were quite well done for a relatively simple treat. The texture was spot on, while the taste was sweet and sour – but not too sour – without any off notes. An OM.

Dorval will be at the Sweets and Snacks Expo. I plan to revisit the Sortz to see if my original batch was past its prime (though I did taste it before its best-by date).