Sunday, February 12, 2012

Côte d'Or Noir de Noir

Cote d'Or

Always looking for new chocolate, I picked this Côte d'Or up at my local fancy grocer for $3.99. It seemed like it was extremely thick, but this bar is actually two bars packaged together. The wrapper was covered in English stickers, so it seems like it comes straight from Belgium.

Côte d'Or is a Belgian chocolate brand that was acquired by Kraft Foods in 1990. I wonder if that sale was as controversial as the more recent Cadbury acquisition?

Cote d'Or Noir de Noir

For 56% chocolate, this bar had a beautiful satiny dark brown finish. The chocolate had an earthy scent, but rather than fruity, the flavor was more milky and almost sweet for a dark chocolate. Though a bit bitter, it was rich and almost savory, and the earthiness carried over into the finish.

The melt was just a bit dry, but not chalky (and I definitely prefer a little dry to sticky). I prefer my dark chocolate to be darker, but this bar was pretty good. My husband loved this one, but I think I'll have to try the Côte d'Or 70% Noir Intense bar.


Côte d'Or website

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Salazon Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt, and Coffee

Salazon Bar

This bar might have the longest name I've ever seen. The title of this post was shortened to fit on one line, but the full name is Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & Crushed Organic Coffee. It was part of a birthday gift from my sister, her husband, and their adorable son. Even though he was only about 6 months old at the time, I like to think he picked it out.

Before trying this bar, I was unfamiliar with the Salazon Chocolate Company. They seem to be very serious about sustainability, and this bar was USDA organic and certified sustainable by the Rainforest Alliance. According to the website, these bars are made in small batches in the United States, not to mention hand-sprinkled with sea salt. That's all great, but how does it taste? After all, Salazon's website also states that these bars are meant to be "energy food" rather than candy.

Salazon Bar Salazon Coffee Bits

The unwrapped bar is striking, on both the top and bottom. The back was especially gorgeous. I love a textured bar, so seeing the little flakes of coffee was exciting. The coffee aroma was dominant in the scent, and the bar had a firm (almost hard) snap.

At first, the chocolate was very salty, but this gave way to a mild, bitter chocolate flavor. The chocolate didn't melt on the tongue right away, and combined with the crunchy coffee flakes, it made for a very crunchy bar. The flavors worked well together, but it was a bit dry for my tastes. I suppose that's why it's "energy food" rather than candy.


Salazon Chocolate Company website

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Vosges Amalfi Bar

Vosges Amalfi Bar

Though I haven't been blogging as much as I used to, I have continued to sample chocolate avidly. One of the consequences of this blog is that I've become somewhat of a chocolate snob. When I started blogging, I didn't think it was worth it to buy expensive chocolate for myself very often, and now it's no big deal. I still enjoy a Twix bar or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but there is simply no comparison to some complex dark chocolate. But more on that in another review.

Having said that, buying the Amalfi white chocolate bar was kind of a gamble. The fact that this one was 36% cocoa, combined with the fact that the local fancy food store had this one on sale, convinced me. Aside from the white chocolate, this bar also features pink peppercorns and lemon zest.

Vosges Amalfi Bar

The pink peppercorns were quite mild and not as aromatic as the Dolfin pink peppercorn bar, but the subtle pepper flavor did go well with the tart but not sour lemon zest. Both provided a bit of a woodsy sensation, and I was surprised at how tasty the combination was!

The white chocolate was very well done. It was milky and neither too rich nor too sweet. The texture was smooth, slightly buttery, and thankfully, not sticky. While I don't see myself buying this bar again, it was a pleasant surprise.


Have a look at Rodzilla Reviews, The Food Buster, and Foodette Reviews for more on this bar.

Vosges website

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

UHA Fizzy Apple Cider Puccho

Fizzy Apple Cider Puccho

Captain PuI know it's a little childish, but I can't resist bright colors and fizzy candy. Puccho delivered on both accounts with Fizzy Apple Cider, and they even threw in a cute mascot. Look at Captain Pu from the wrapper! I can't get over how adorable it is!

Cute gimmicks aside, Puccho is sort of like a kid cousin to the more famous Hi-Chew. It has a similar chewy texture, and lively fruit flavors, but Puccho also has firm jelly pieces to enhance the chew. This variety even has fizzy candy bits, too!

Apple Cider Puccho

The candy smelled faintly of apples, but thankfully, not in an artificial way. The main chew tasted like apple juice, and the little Puccho jelly beads didn't seem to add much flavor. The fizzy balls, however, had a sour apple flavor at first, becoming sweeter as they dissolved.

The texture in general was firm, but not uncomfortable to chew. It was a bit rubbery, but that's pretty typical for Puccho and similar fruit chews. I was pleased with the apple flavor, and of course, the fizzy bits. Puccho is always fun to eat, so even though I'm not big on apple candy, this flavor was enjoyable.


Puccho website

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tirol Christmas House!!

Christmas House!! Oh, Hi Santa!

Unfortunately, my little blogging hiatus has resulted in me posting a Christmas chocolate review in February. At least I managed to get my Christmas decorations down in January this year. Still, Tirol does tend to repromote flavors, so just file this one away just in case any of these come back in the future.

Merry Christmas!

But how could I just skip something so cute? This is Tirol's Christmas House!!, and it was part of a Christmas present from a friend. I hope I captured the interactive nature of the box with all these pictures. The door on the side swings open to reveal Santa in the fireplace, which opens to allow the chocolates to slide out.

Three flavors were included in the pack: Gateau Chocolat, Strawberry Shortcake, and Cheesecake, each in their own shiny wrapping paper. Getting the chocolates out of the chimney involved a bit of shaking, capturing yet another part of the Christmas experience. So clever!

Tirol Cheesecake

Cheesecake had a salty, slightly tart flavor that was reminiscent of cheese with a hint of lemon. The white chocolate was soft and a bit buttery. There was a crunchy biscuit inside, but it was only for texture and didn't seem to have any flavor. This was the blandest of the three flavors.

Tirol Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Shortcake had a tart strawberry flavor with a slightly sour, yogurty flavor that was probably supposed to represent the cream on shortcake. It missed the mark. Just like Cheesecake, the biscuit in the center provided crunch without flavor.

Gateau Chocolat

Thankfully, there was one stand out flavor in this bunch: Gateau Chocolat. The chocolate coating was bitter and had a nice snap, and the crunchy chocolate biscuit in the middle actually seemed to add to the chocolate flavor. The best part was the layer of fudgey goo on top of the biscuit - it seemed almost like a ganache. I wish the whole box had been made up of this flavor. On it's own, it would be an A.


Tirol website

Friday, February 3, 2012

Fujiya LOOK Baskin Robbins

LOOK Baskin Robbins

It's been a while! Sorry for being so quiet. I'd like to say that I've been too busy with work and graduate school to post, but the truth is, I've had free time, I've just been doing other things. I did notice some new followers, so thanks for being patient with me!

Getting back into the swing of things, I thought I'd give LOOK chocolate another try. LOOK has been hit or miss; their French- and Italian-themed collections were fantastic, but their plain chocolates left a lot to be desired. This is the Baskin Robbins collection, so naturally, the four flavors are ice cream inspired.

LOOK Baskin Robbins

It's fitting to start off with Jamocha Coffee because the coffee flavor seemed to find its way into many of the adjacent chocolates. On its own, it was all right. The milk chocolate went well with the mild coffee flavor, and it definitely reminded me of a blended iced coffee drink.

Strawberry Cheesecake had a slightly tart berry flavor with a hint of yogurt. It didn't really taste like cheesecake, but it was still tasty. As I mentioned, I think there was some flavor mingling going on, because some of the Strawberry Cheesecake pieces had a weird and off-putting coffee note.

Matcha, always the flavor I look forward to the most, had a slight bitter matcha flavor, but it was so subtle that it was easily overwhelmed by the milk chocolate. It was disappointing. One of the Matcha pieces tasted like coffee, too.

Vanilla had a sweet fake vanilla flavor. It was pretty standard fare, but the coffee essence seeped into a couple of these pieces, too. It wasn't too bad for this flavor.

Overall, when the non-coffee flavors didn't taste like coffee, they were fine, but flavor mingling was an issue in this package (even though they were well within the expiration date). It didn't happen to every piece, but I'm thinking the fresher you can get these, the better.


LOOK website