Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Great Chocolate Tasting Frenzy! II (Chocolate part 4)

Here are the last four bars we tested...I must say, we had a LOT of fun doing this.  I suggest getting together with your friends (especially if you're of the female persuasion) and have a "chocolate tasting" night - Get some really weird flavors, but throw some yummy bars in there too, and have a blast.  I know we did - Giving hubby a piece of that curry chocolate was priceless.  Almost as good as the time he accidently drank out of a bottle of water that Ben had brushed his teeth with and spit the rinse water back into the bottle while we were enroute driving to TX.  I tried to warn him, but he didn't listen.  So gentlemen...when your wife talks to you, you better damn well listen with at LEAST half an ear cocked, lest you drink some spit water too.

Newman's Espresso Chocolate - Gotta give it to Paul – even though he's gone, his company does keep it real. I buy his salsa *all* the time, as well as his salad dressing. Upon opening the bar, we got a strong coffee smell. This was actually a good bar– It was like a dark chocolate mocha and there was a nice balance between the coffee and the chocolate and a smooth texture. Nice for coffee aficionados (hear that Seattle?)  Both my kids liked it, I did too.

MacaSure Chocolat - "Indulge your senses and reward yourself—without compromising your commitment to your body. MacaSure Chocolat is permission to succumb to your chocolate craving, apology-free."

What it should have read: "This bar will indulge the sense of any person with Pica.  The earthy taste of dirt and the gritty texture will have you think you are chowing down on the finest clay east of the Rockies!"

It smelled like chocolate.  It tasted like dirt.  I was able to keep it in my mouth and finish a piece, and there is a fruity aftertaste if you can stand tasting dirt while chewing and swallowing.  All of us agreed on the "dirt" taste.  There is a pasty, slightly gritty texture to the chocolate. Supposedly maca roots have lots of sugar, and are tangy and sweet - they smell similar to butterscotch, and can be kept dried for years. They grow at high altitudes in the Andes.  Somehow that was lost in the manufacture of this chocolate, unless they used the leaves, which are called "pepper grass".

Here is the funny part - Seems like there is 4000 mg of maca in each bar.  What is maca you say?  Remember me ranting about these vague ingredients that are supposed to be good for you, but no one is quite sure why, but everyone jumps on the bandwagon expecting miraculous cures, and getting none? You know what I'm talking about - acai berries, pomegranate, goji berries have all shared the spotlight.  Geeze, d'ya think that maybe the reason all these islanders/natives are so healthy and live so long is because they eat healthy unprocessed food, get regular exercise, and have no stressors other than wondering where the next wart hog dinner will be coming from?" .....(pause)............NAH, couldn't be!

Maca is also know as "peruvian ginseng" although it's not in the ginseng family.  Here's the part that made me laugh.  Apparently (according to "folklore" - such a nice generic source) Inca warriors would take maca before going into battle - it made them strong and fierce.  The problem is...it also made them incredibly horny, and they actually banned the warriors from taking maca after battles to protect the conquered women from their overactive libidos.  I did LOL at this one - I still do...How did they find this out?  How "old" is the folklore? a few months? did it come from some ad agency?  And who decided the warriors were too horny?  And since when did either conquered people or women back then have ANY rights whatsoever?  Who cares about their rights?  Don't tell me the Incas were sitting around the campfire after a battle one evening, and a particularly sensitive Inca warrior in touch with his feminine side volunteered -  "Ya know...maybe we better cut that Maca out after battle...those poor women in the town we conquered will be walking bow-legged for a month".   Ok..you get my sarcasm. Incas had no written language.  Everything was passed down orally.  It was a rather austere society that believed in function over form, so I am very curious how the maca manufacturers managed to get this tidbit of information.  Just sayin...

I decided to research maca a bit, and found an article HERE about the ancient crops of the Incas.  It has an .edu suffix, I am guessing it ain't Wikipedia.  Judging from all the maca websites springing up, I think Viagra and Cialis better turn tail and run, because they are in for some stiff competition (pardon my pun...I couldn't resist - must be the maca)

Theo Ginger-Rose Chocolate - There is no write up on this - It was a seasonal flavor for Valentine's day (Thank God!).  I see a lot of Washingtonians wax poetic about Theo’s Chocolates, and it looks like they have a loyal following. Perhaps it’s a West Coast thing, but I don’t see it. The minute I opened up the wrapper, we were assailed by a strong smell of roses. Could not smell any ginger. This was another one that was unanaimously spit out. It tastes like you’re eating lotion. Seriously. Both my kids ate handfuls of blueberries and I drank down a glass of water trying to get rid of the soapy aftertaste. I can’t believe someone actually wrote “OMIGAWD! GINGER ROSE CHOCOLATE is OUTSTANDING!” on Theo's FB site. I guess if you like getting your mouth washed out with soap. It has a pretty package.

Salazon Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt - You know I had to save the best for last, didn't you? “Our original bar with our dark chocolate and our signature touch of sprinkled sea salt. Destined to be a classic”

I wouldn't change a thing they wrote.  It's all true. I already waxed poetic about Salazon a couple days ago, but I'll add a couple more comments.  Sweet, chocolately, a perfect balance with no bitter aftertaste (and it’s between 51-69% cocoa). The hint of salt brings out the sweetness of the chocolate. My daughter doesn’t like dark chocolate, and she loved this bar (bwahaha – I knew Salazon could convert her!) She liked the hint of salt. Hands down our favorite. 

Now, all chocolated out.  I think I'm going to make this an annual event.  Lots of fun, family,  laughter, and eating chocolate.  What more could you want? :-)


  1. this is a REALLY great idea. i'm gonna have to follow suit next paycheck. haha i loved the blurt about horny maca people too :P

    can't wait to try everything!

  2. hahahahaha! gosh mom, put down the maca and get a hold of yourself willya?

    correctionnn: I didn't like the espresso chocolate one. However I am not a good person to consult about it because I am not a fan of dark chocolate, unless it's salazone, and I don't like mocha. hahaha