To a greater extent that I'd like to admit, this blog started out as something of an excuse to go on wasting huge amounts of time on the internet gabbing about perfume, and I think that pretty much explains the occasional chocolate posts as well. This chocolate bar I'm eating? Oh, it's just research. Here are brief reviews of six bars. If you're not interested in chocolate, come back tomorrow, when Kevin will have a real fragrance review.
Do you love cardamom? The L'Artigiano di Gardini Cardamomo bar (62% cocoa, shown above left) is fabulous. It does for cardamom what the Chuao Chocolatier Chinita Nibs bar does for nutmeg. If they would just add something crunchy and/or chewy to it, it would be heaven on earth. According to the little price tag on the back, I paid $11.50 for this bar. That can't be, can it? I'm quite sure I would never spend that on a chocolate bar. Ack. Next.
Moving on, the Eclipse Chocolat Gingerbread Crumb bar, with "cinnamon spiced chocolate flecked with muscavado [sic?] sugar and gingerbread crumbs". At 50% cocoa, this is sweeter than I like — I sort of thought that a very gingery-spicy gingerbread would temper the sweetness, but the gingerbread flavor in this bar is mild at best. The bar is slightly chewy, but only slightly. It's perfectly enjoyable but nothing I would buy again, although it might be a good bar for someone who likes a milder chocolate and doesn't want a lot of competing flavors muddling up their chocolate. Expect to pay around $6.
The Gingerbread Toffee Bar from Vosges is closer, but still no cigar, on the gingerbread front anyway. It's 65% cocoa (just what I like), and has a perfect balance between crunchy and chewy (ditto) and stronger flavors (ditto again). But it's very salty. I like salty chocolate, but in this case there's more salt than spice (just to be clear, there's no actual gingerbread in there, just toffee made with gingerbread spices). If you're mostly after a good dark chocolate bar with salty toffee, this one qualifies: I have a feeling I'd like it much better if it weren't for the expectations raised by the word "gingerbread" in the name. $7.50.
Also from Vosges, the Peppermint Candy Cane bar (shown above right). I figured this would be kind of dull, but I loved the bright candy cane ribbon on the outer box so I bought it anyway, and as it turned out, it's pretty wonderful. There are teeny tiny pieces of peppermint candy throughout, and they give this bar the perfect amount of crunch. This might be my favorite peppermint chocolate bar ever, although I'm still very fond of the Dolfin Noir Aux Feuilles de Menthe.
It's way low on the "wacky flavor combinations" scale, but lots and lots of whole almonds make the Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate bar very enjoyable, and it has just the right amount of salt: not too little, not too much. As always with Chocolove, the price is reasonable (especially in comparison to all the bars listed above) at around $3.
And last on my list for today, the Eclipse Chocolat Espresso Walnut (shown above center), with 61% cocoa. I don't much notice the walnuts, but this bar has excellent coffee flavor and a nice crunch. It's not exciting, but it's a nice coffee bar, and I do like it better than many of the other Eclipse bars I've tried. For more coffee + chocolate, see here.
Had any good chocolate bars lately? Do share in the comments.