Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hageland Pear & Almonds

Hageland Pear and Almonds

Up until now, I've only tried Hageland's limited origin bars, but the last time I was in the candy aisle at Wal-Mart, the Pear & Almonds bar called out to me. Pear is one of those fruits that I love as a fruit but not as a flavoring, but based on my history with Hageland, I convinced myself that this time would be different.

According to the back of the box, the Hageland County in Belgium is famous for growing pears. The natural pear flavor joins almonds, 57% dark chocolate, and an unexpected emulsifier: soy lecithin (non-GMO, less than 0.5%). Right away, I noticed the bar was softer than other dark chocolate Hageland bars.

Hageland Pear and Almonds

The bar smells of roasted almonds and bitter cocoa, but the first taste is all pear. It's so strong that it reminds me of banana, and that's not a good thing. Luckily, the pear taste fades very quickly, leaving behind only almond and dark chocolate. The chocolate is of the quality I've come to expect from Hageland, and the almond flavor has melded with the chocolate for a lovely mixture.

The snap of the chocolate must be affected by the other ingredients, as the bar was softer than expected. The slivered almonds and pear granules are so crunchy that it almost seemed like the nuts were candied. The texture was certainly pleasant and aside from the first hit of pear, the flavor was pretty good, but I much prefer Hageland's standalone bars. I think it all comes down to how you feel about pears in chocolate.


Hageland Website


Anonymous said...

I have never tried pears and chocolate. I agree that pear flavoring can be a little sketchy. Added to shopping list!

ebidebby said...

Pears are so good by themselves, maybe they just don't play well with others. Will you blog about it when you get it?

Anonymous said...

Of course! I'm new to blogging so I've got a whole world of food to eat through.

ebidebby said...

I look forward to reading it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the comments on this product. As the manyfacturer I like to explain a few things:

The pear flavor is indeed a bit stronger in the beginning because it has to fight the dominance of the cocoa and almond flavors. Pear is very subtile and easily overwhelmed by other components. As you rightly stated: it quickly mixes up with the other components and if you taste it right, pear notes remain present, especially at the end. You get a succession of different flavor impressions, one after the other, and then they blend beautifully together.

The lesser snap in the product, compared to our single origin dark chocolates is caused by the fact that we used here a 57% dark chocolate. The reason for that is again the subtile pear flavor, who can difficultly fight stronger cocoa flavors. The product is much more in balance with this chocolate type.

In this chocolate, we use GMO-free soy lecithin to have this balanced chocolate. Without this, we would have to use a lot more cocoa butter, which would disrupt this balance. There is less then 0.5% present and is all natural.

I hope this helps you to understand better this tablet.

ebidebby said...

Thank you for the explanation! It is very helpful. I am a very big fan of Hageland products, and I think this bar would be delicious for someone who enjoys pear flavored chocolate more than I do.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the pear and loved it. The texture and flavor combination of pear with chocolate and almonds was unique and exciting. I regret buying only one and will be going back to WalMart tomorrow for more. This is something I want to treat myself to everyday. I would never have imagined this could be so good. If you like pears, you will not be disappointed. The dark chocolate is excellent. Thank you Hageland.

Rick B. said...

This is one of the best and most reasonably priced chocolate bars that I have tried that contains ingredients other than chocolate. The only problem I have is that the only place I've found that carries them is Walmart, and they don't keep enough stocked.

This is truly a bar that grows on you!

Anonymous said...

I was searching to buy more of these because it is one of my absolute favorite chocolates in the world. I don't say that lighly, my other favorite is Teuscher Champagne Truffles which are $75 per pound.