Monday, March 8, 2010

The Great Chocolate Tasting Frenzy! (Chocolate part 3)

8 bars.  3 people.  Multiple glasses of water, and handfuls of blueberries.  Yes, it's the post I promised...I bought 8 bars of chocolate, and corralled my kids into tasting them with me.  Some are good, most were point is I think companies put weird stuff into chocolate because people will buy it if it's "avant-garde" enough, and I wonder how many actually LIKE the products they are selling??

the chocolate

the judges

I am going to note how the company describes their chocolate, and then give you the "real" deal.  Of course, please realize these are subjective results - I am sure there are people out there that LOVE the ones we hated, so please don't take it personally - take it more as constructive criticism.
Also...about the judges - You know from "Chocolate part one" that I LOVE dark chocolate.  I'll chow down on a 70% bar if it's good.  I feel I'm adventurous, willing to try new things, have an open mind, and I always try to be objective.  If I love something, I am enthusiastic about it - my daughter says too much so, but hey, I want to share the good news with the world!  My son Ben, loves all things chocolate.  He's phlegmatic, easy going, mellow.  Nothing really bothers him, unless his sister punches him in the arm with her pitching arm with the knuckle extended.  Then he gets ticked.  He has an adventuresome palate, because he good naturedly puts up with my experiments in the kitchen, and rarely gives me a thumbs down.  He loves just about everything.  My daughter Meg is the more pragmatic of the bunch.  Organized, overly analytical, yet genuinely optimistic.  A dichotomy.  I think her palate is the same.  She loves gummi anythings, has a sweet tooth, but doesn't like to eat unhealthy foods.  She could easily become a vegetarian.  She's a grazer, where Ben is a gobbler.  Meg likes just about anything as well, and is always willing to try a new dish...Oh...and she doesn't "like" dark chocolate (you will notice that will change by the end of this series)

THE RESULTS: *drum roll* 

Green & Black's Maya Gold - They write: “Traditionally, the Maya Indians in southern Belize flavored their cocoa with spices. We recapture this by blending rich, dark chocolate with a refreshing twist of orange that is perfectly balanced by the warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of vanilla.”

What it really should have said: "If you like the smell of flowers, you'll love this chocolate bar.  Don't expect to taste any vanilla or cinnamon - there is a bit of orange and nutmeg for you to savor, but expect a bitter aftertaste."

It would be nice if you could really taste everything that is supposedly in this chocolate bar. We were all put off by the smell – it smelled like flowers. The only thing we could all taste was a bit of nutmeg, orange, and some flowery flavor. No cinnamon, no vanilla. Bitter aftertaste. The flavor wasn’t as bad as we expected – it didn’t taste like it smelled, but we all disliked the aftertaste.

Nirvana Organic Dark Spicy Chocolate Bar - They write: "Ready for some spice? Decadent dark Belgian chocolate (72% cocoa) with chili, almonds, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. This bar is VEGAN."

What it really should have said: "Hey, we know how much you vegans enjoy sacrifice, because you obviously don't eat meat or dairy, so your food life must be boring.  Have some of our chocolate to round out your tasteless diet"

Now...before I get any vegans jumping into my stuff - *I* know you guys don't have a boring diet - Vegetables/legumes/nuts, etc...can be FUN and FLAVORFUL...but this chocolate isn't.  And it appears they are trying to attract the vegans with that declaration - ummm...last time I looked, *all* dark chocolate bars were vegan, unless they had hrm..hard boiled eggs, or cheese in them.  Why make it sound like just yours are?  This bar smelled like chocolate,  kinda tasted like chocolate, but was unanaimously declared rather tasteless by all three judges. There was chocolate flavor, but no cinnamon, no nutmeg (which is usually a predominant spice) no vanilla, no chili.  I think Meg saw a couple flecks of almond in her piece. Sorry, but it wasn't "Nirvana" for us.

Theo Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate - “Milk chocolate with toasted coconut and savory curry spices.”

Ummm...ok...We all began to get worried when I opened the package and the smell of curry hit us like a bug hits a windshield.  SPLAT. I even noticed some yellow curry discoloration on the wrapping paper.  Rut Roh, re in rubble Raggy (as Scooby Doo says)...But...we all took a piece and gamely went on with our testing.  Meg and I spit it out.  Ben said it was "spicy chocolate" - however, we all agreed that the curry powder just overwhelmed the chocolate.  We all love curry (as you can probably tell from my old blog site post) the kids grew up on it, so it's not a taste thing.  I'm sorry to say it was not in my mouth long enough to let you know if there was an aftertaste, etc...You can see coconut flecks, but can't taste it.  Don't let the pretty label fool you.  The contents don't match the packaging. 

Lindt Excellence Chili Bar - “Excellence Chili is an exceptional and entirely new taste experience combining Lindt's finest aromatic dark chocolate with the well balanced spice of premium red chili.”

What it really should have said: "If you like milk chocolate, you'll love this dark chocolate bar, especially if you like it sweet."

This was a very sweet chocolate bar.  It tasted like a cross between milk and dark chocolate - None of us tasted the chili - however, after I finished my piece, I did have a slight burning sensation in my throat - my kids didn't - Meg hates anything spicy, she definitely would have noticed the Chili - I'm not sure if I had a piece with some chili powder in it, and she didn't, not sure.  But it was not picante enough, sorry Lindt.  However, it did taste like chocolate, which is a positive :)

I think that's enough Chocolate for tonight - Tomorrow we'll do Chocolate Part 4 - Up for review are:  Newmans, Salazon, another Theo chocolate, and MacaSure (this one made me laugh - you'll see why tomorrow) allin tuta as they say in the Inca language (that's a hint)



  1. I laughed at this because I thought of daddy's reaction to the curry chocolate...

  2. Hah..."I feel like I've been victimized" was his direct quote...ROFL

  3. I LOVED THIS BLOG. i was so entertained and it made me wish i was there to taste test also. i think i would have liked 75 percent of them because i have really weird taste buds and can't EVER turn down chocolate. though the idea of an orange in my chocolate makes me want to gag.i hate chocolate covered strawberries. fruit, stay away from my guilty pleasures. ahem. very good idea.