Saturday, January 10, 2015

Vosges African Red Tea & Tart Cherry Bar

African Red Tea & Tart Cherry Bar

Vosges was one of the first high-end chocolate brands that I tried. Since then, I've found other brands that I like more (and often cost less) but I'm always up for a new Vosges bar. They offer some unique combinations, and African Red Tea & Tart Cherry is something I haven't seen before.

It's been a few years since I've been to Las Vegas, but the Vosges boutique in the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace is one of my favorite stops. There are always new truffles, sometimes assortments go on sale, and they usually have several chocolates to sample. Plus, the purple/white decor is pretty.

African Red Tea & Tart Cherry

The chocolate was quite pretty! It was light in color (at 45% cocoa) with little black flecks in it (probably the tea). It smelled more bitter than it actually was and I'm guessing that was from the tea, because it had an earthy scent, too. The chocolate was soft, creamy, and milky (little to no bitterness). It had a slight stickiness and it was sweet, but never what I'd call too sweet.

The tea gave the bar a bit of a strange, gritty crunch. The cherry bits were tart indeed and went well with the sweet chocolate. They also added a soft, chewy texture to the mix. Speaking of chewing, the red tea bits were quite tart when chewed as well. Overall it was an interesting bar, but I probably wouldn't get it again.


Vosges website

Monday, January 5, 2015

Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee

Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee

Happy New Year! Let me start off 2015 by posting a review for a brand that I have been meaning to blog about for ages: Alter Eco. I have draft reviews for 2 other Alter Eco bars (aside from this one) that I haven't gotten around to posting, so it's about time!

Alter Eco has just about every fair trade/organic certification I've ever seen, but that's all I'll say on that. What I am qualified to comment on is the fact that every darn bar of theirs that I've tried is pretty delicious. This is the Dark Coconut Toffee bar, but I hope to post about the Dark Quinoa and Dark Salted Brown Butter bars soon, too. If I can find my notes, I'll add the Dark Velvet, too!

Alter Eco Dark Coconut Toffee

Full disclosure: in my notes, I treated this like a milk chocolate bar. Oops. But I definitely prefer this sort of barely dark bar to milk chocolate, and I wouldn't want it to be any "lighter." The bar smelled like cocoa and nuts rather than coconut. The chocolate was slightly bitter and not sticky, nor overly sweet. Much like the aroma, the coconut flavor was subtle, so I wouldn't write it off if you’re lukewarm on coconut. Like the chocolate, the toffee was bittersweet, especially at first, giving way to a caramel flavor.

Combined, the flavors reminded me of the Samoa Girl Scout cookies, only not as sweet. The bar had a crunchy texture that was reminiscent of sugar, especially the kind with larger crystals. The flavors and textures were well-balanced, but I wouldn't call this bar a new favorite. As I stated above, Alter Eco makes some excellent chocolate bars, and this one was good – just not top tier.


Alter Eco Foods website