Santander Tropical Fruit Bits

When I first moved to Rochester, I found it a bit odd that everyone talked about how great Wegman’s was. Really, Rochester? The coolest thing about you is a grocery store?

But you know what? Wegman’s is awesome. I come from Austin, TX, home of the 80,000 sq ft flagship Whole Foods (also awesome), and I was still impressed by Wegman’s. They may not be as big as some Whole Foods, but they’re far more affordable.

I could never afford to grocery shop at Whole Foods; it was just a place for treats and small amounts of bulk bin stuff. Wegman’s is my go-to grocery store here in my new home, and they’re everywhere in Rochester.

And they all have awesome candy selections. Even my local Wegman’s, which is smaller and lacks bulk bins and a giant candy section (some day, I will take and post photos of big Wegmans’ candy aisles. They have choo-choo trains overhead), has great deals, like the cheapo full-sized Vosges bars that I previously mentioned, or the two discounted chocolate bars that are the subject of today’s review: 70% Dark Chocolate Santander Pineapple and Passion Fruit.

Both bars have a 70% single origin Columbian chocolate base, plus bits of tropical fruit embedded without. I assume that the chocolate base in both is the same, but they actually tasted a bit different in each bar. That could be a testament to the power of contrasts for bringing out different flavors – a chocolate tasting paired with fruit instead of wine.

The pineapple bar came wrapped in a flimsily thin gold foil that tore easily, making it hard to wrap up the rest of the bar for later. The bar itself had a soft snap. I know that pineapple has some enzyme that keeps gelatin from setting; I wonder if that affected the texture of the chocolate too?

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The texture of the chocolate didn’t bother me, but the taste did a bit. There just wasn’t enough cocoa flavor! It was pretty one note, in a mellow way. That then transitioned to sweet with just a tinge of tart from the pineapple bits before finishing with slight caramel notes.

Passion fruit came in a more substantial combination of wax paper and silver paper, and its snap and flavor were more substantial as well. The bar’s snap was sharp and crisp, and the passion fruit bits were a tad crunchy.

While the chocolate was similarly one note, the fruit flavors, when they came through, were a pleasant surprise. The passion fruit flavor was like sunshine on the palate, super bright and enjoyable. The bar’s finish, however, was bitter and astringent, and it lingered unpleasantly.

So to recap, pineapple starts meh, gets better, and finishes okay. Passion fruit starts meh, gets wonderful!, and finishes bleh. Both bars get an O for being far less awesome than the Wegman’s that they came from.